The Montgomery Bus Boycott
from the Women's Political Council (1955)
Rosa Parks's Arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man has, as they say, made history—together with the men and women behind the subsequent Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted for 381 days, crippling the bus system and bringing an end to racially segregated seating on Montgomery public buses. This Pamphlet was widely distributed by the Women's Political Council, with Jo Ann Robinson at its head, just days after Parks's arrest.
"Another Negro woman has been arrested and thrown in jail because she refused to get up out of her seat on the bus for a white person to sit down. It is the second time since the Claudette Colvin case that a Negro woman has been arrested for the same thing. This has to be stopped. Negroes have rights too, for if Negroes did not ride the buses, they could not operate. Three-fourths of the riders are Negroes, yet we are arrested, or have to stand over empty seats. If we do not do something to stop these arrests, they will continue. The next time it may be you, or your daughter, or mother. This woman's case will come up on Monday. We are, therefore, asking every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial. Don't ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday. You can afford to stay out of school for one day if you have no other way to go except by bus. You can also afford to stay out of town for one day. If you work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown-ups, don't ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off all buses Monday."
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