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The legendary boycott of the Montgomery Alabama bus system that was sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger.

It was promoted by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference printing up something like 40,000 handbills and local religious leaders making announcements from the pulpit.

The boycott started in late 1955 and lasted well into 1956 when the Supreme Court declared segregated bus systems to be unconstitutional. While the boycott was on it was estimated that 90% of Blacks who normally rode the bus participated.

Of course, it wasn't as easy as that with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s house being bombed and efforts at carpooling met with baseballs and rocks.

One of the more important aspects of the boycott is that it showed Dr. King's methods to be effective and encouraged other civil rights groups to take part in non-violent actions. It was such a massive success and had such a high amount of participation in the Black community that it became a reference point for the effectiveness of non-violent activism.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was one of the first major successes in the Civil Rights Movement. It all started when Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat for a white man. She refused, and was promptly arrested. This was the beginning of the boycott. Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC led the entire black population of Montgomery to take a stand against segregation in public transportation. For 381 days they walked biked and carpooled.

Many people helped with the effort. Dorothy Posey, who owned a parking lot with her husband, let blacks who were carpooling use it for free during the boycott. Rev. Robert Graetz preached to the boycotters, and helped drive them around. His car tires were slashed and his house was bombed three times. Schoolteachers wouldn't give homework on certain days so that the children could attend meetings at the Molton Street Baptist Church. The Montgomery Advertiser, a white newspaper put the boycott story on the front page. This helped the boycott effort tremendously. It got them the publicity and media exposure the movement needed to gain momentum. The boycott illustrated several things which civil disobedience requires. Action of the masses, non-violence, and the will to believe that things can change. Without these things civil disobedience in any form is rarely successful.

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