Montgomery Bus Boycott 
Google Images Photo

Montgomery Bus Boycott Google Images Photo

Tori Brandt and Sydney Keith, Editor and Staff Writer

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Founded by Carter G. Woodson in 1926, Black History month celebrates the lives of African Americans who strived for equality. Woodson was one of the first historians to study African American history. Disappointed that most history books did not discuss the important African Americans that helped shaped our country, Woodson decided to make the second week in February Black History week. This week was chosen by Woodson because the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass fall within this week. Douglass was a former slave who escaped Maryland and became a powerful abolitionist. Sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, fought to end slavery and signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the South. In 1976, the week of celebration extended its duration to a month.

During this month, many African American activists are celebrated such as, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who spoke up against segregation in the United States. He was a prominent leader in the movement to end racial discrimination and segregation in America. MLK Jr promoted non-violent acts of protest in order to make their opinion prominent. King is famous for his many moving speeches such as, “I Have A Dream” “Our God Is Marching On” and, “Beyond Vietnam”. 

Rosa Parks
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Rosa Parks was another African American Civil Rights activist who is celebrated during this month. In 1955, Parks refused to give her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955 to a white man. She was arrested for her refusal to move, which sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. African Americans refused to ride the buses until they could sit where ever they wanted on the bus. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was elected to lead the boycott to victory. The issue was brought to the federal district courts in a case called Browder v. Gayle, where it was found that bus segregation is unconstitutional. The boycott lasted 381 days.

The actions of these activists did not go without attention. In 1964, the Jim Crow laws, which made segregation legal in the southern states, were marked as unconstitutional, which legally ended segregation in the south. The actions of these brave activists and many more we celebrate in this month helped to shape our country. 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.