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Civil Rights Movement


            What was the chain reaction that followed the Rosa Parks incident?.
             In 1955, Rosa Parks, an African American woman refused to vacate a bus seat for a white male. When she was arrested many black citizens of the town, Montgomery, formed a group to protest. Rosa Parks could never have imagined the events that were to follow her simply saying, no'.
             During the 1950s much of southern USA was segregated. This meant that there was a division of white and black people at restaurants, drink fountains, public toilets, hotels, buses and many other public facilities. In the South, local and state laws enforced segregation.
             Before Rosa Parks, other steps had been taken to fight against segregation, such as the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education, although the Rosa Parks incident had hit more of a nerve in the black society. The protests that closely followed uncovered, arguably the greatest activist leader African Americans had ever seen.
             Martin Luther King Jr. was chosen to lead the protest group in a boycott of the Montgomery city bus system. Nearly all of Montgomery's 50 000 African American citizens participated in the boycott. In June 1956 it was ruled that segregated seating was a violation of the United States Constitution. The City of Montgomery appealed but was unsuccessful. The buses were desegregated in December of that year and the boycott ended. .
             King was an avid Christian and Pacifist and did not believe in the use of violence as shown in many non-violent protests he led. In 1957 he formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to fight primarily against racial segregation. Within eighteen months of its establishment 70 000 freedom riders had taken part in sit-ins across the country against segregated services.
             The Rosa Parks incident motivated King even further to carry out the Washington March as planned by Negro activist, Phillip Randolf. Randolf had planned the march in 1941 but once the war had broken out, many blacks were able to get jobs.


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