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UIS History Harvest

Boycott Newspaper Article

On December 1, 1995, Rosa Park a black seamstress refused to give up her seat on a bus, and on December 5, 1995, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in Montgomery, Alabama as result of Rosa’s action. It was also the day Rosa Parks was charged a fine of $14 for refusing to move in a bus. The Decatur Daily newspaper reviewed the mounting racial tensions during the bus boycott movement in 1956. The publication explains the effects of the bus boycott by African American on the bus company and the community. While it was evident that National City Bus Lines were not making any public statement about their loss, black Americans stayed off the bus and this act indeed, affected the profits as the black amounted for sixty-five percent of the patrons of the bus. In the community, the racial divide was more intense as thousands of black attended boycott meeting and officials of the pro-white Central Alabama citizens council membership increased from a few hundred to twelve thousand. Also, the word “Nigger” seems to be used more frequently during that period.

However, the paper presents some negotiation that occurred between the white and black leaders for a compromise within the first few weeks of the boycott as both sides were seeking a legal means to end the protest movement. Some black leaders demanded a bus seat on a “first come, first served basis.” It is interesting that the publication was silent in itself about whether this boycott was happening in Decatur but was concerned and reviewed the racial unrest critically in Alabama which could have been to create more awareness for people in Decatur.