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Evaluate the Significance of the Bus Boycott to the Civil Rights Movement

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Extended responses

b) Evaluate the significance of one of the following in the civil rights movement

2. The bus boycott

The events and outcomes of the bus boycott are significant in assistance to the civil rights movement. It was the introduction of direct action and non violence, the beginning of Martin Luther's campaign in the movement and the achievements.

The boycott began on the 1st December 1955 with Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama, with Rosa Parks. She refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on demand. She was arrested and imprisoned for violating the law. This was the beginning of the campaign of non-violence. In protest to Parks' arrest, the African American community, who comprised 75% of bus users in Montgomery, began what became a 382-day boycott of the city's buses. They protested for recognition of their equal rights to bus seats. There was an organisation formed to direct the bus boycott, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). A young Baptist minister, working in Montgomery, took on the important role as the president of this organisation. His name was Martin Luther King.

The Bus boycott was significant because it was based on the non-violent philosophy of the young black minister, Martin Luther King. King being a powerful speaker was prepared to make great personal sacrifices for the cause of black equality. He was inspired by a strong belief in the Christian ideas of brotherhood and social justice so he repeatedly proclaimed that no matter what action was taken against them they were not to retaliate. Blacks waiting for transport were threatened with charges of loitering and various other charges in order to keep the whites in power. Many blacks wanted to retaliate, they could not just allow for whites to threaten them, but King refused to allow this. He told them "We believe in law and orderÐ'... We must love our white brothers no matter what they do to us". The Boycott continued throughout 1956 King and 88 others were arrested, charged and convicted of Ð''conspiracy to interfere with normal business'. Slowly, support for the boycott increased, it was published in newspapers and in the media. It was bringing positive media attention to the issue of segregation of buses as well as bringing to the public

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