Montgomery Bus Boycotts: Role of Women in the Civil Rights Movement
During the Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 60's, women played an undeniably significant role in forging the path against discrimination and oppression. Rosa Parks and Jo Ann Robinson were individual women whose efforts deserve recognition for instigating and coordinating the Montgomery Bus Boycotts of 1955 that would lay precedent for years to come that all people deserved equal treatment despite the color of their skin. The WPC, NAACP, and the Montgomery Churches provided the channels to organize the black public into a group that could not be ignored as well supported the black community throughout the difficult time of the boycott.
The 20th century brought a tidal wave of tolerance and equal rights for a diverse variety of people in the United States. When the century opened, women did not have an equal position with their male counter parts either in the public or private sectors of society. Women first received their right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920, and the beginnings of an equal footing in the workplace during the obligatory utilization of American women as factory employees during the Second World War. Similarly, African Americans spent the 1950's and 60's fighting for their own basic civil rights that had been denied them, such as going to the school or restaurant of their choice. Or something as simple and unpretentious as where they were allowed to sit on a bus. However, by the end of the 20th Century, women, blacks, and other minorities could be found in the highest echelons of American Society. From the corporate offices of IBM, to the U.S. Supreme Court bench, an obvious ideological revolution bringing integration and acceptance of a variety of human beings had taken place, but only at the expense of great amounts of sweat and blood.
One of the Champions of the American Civil Rights Movement was Rosa Parks. A native of Tuskegee Alabama, she was said by some to be the mother of the African American Civil Rights Movement. Making a living as a seamstress, she was highly involved in the local efforts of the N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) as well as exceedingly active in her church congregation, Rosa Parks would become infamous for simply refusing to be treated differently because of the color of her skin. Aboard the Cleveland Avenue bus coming home from work on the evening of December 1st 1955, an already weary Rosa Parks was instructed by the bus driver to surrender her seat to a Caucasian man who had boarded the bus subsequent to her. When she refused to do so, the police were summoned and she consequentially was arrested. This was her first time to be under arrest, but she conducted herself in a professional and dignified manner despite the extreme injustice she was being served (Johnson 212). Jo Ann Robinson called Rasa Parks a woman of "high morals and a strong character"....