T H E M O V E M E N T
DECEMBER 1ST, 1955 | MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA
On the evening of December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a city bus and sat in the middle section. Although the buses were racially segregated, Black passengers were allowed to sit in this section at the driver’s discretion. As the whites only section at the front of the bus filled up, one white man was left standing. Stopping the bus, the driver demanded that Mrs. Parks and the other three Black passengers in her row give up their seats for the white man. The other three stood up without complaint. Mrs. Parks remained seated.
When the driver called for the police, Mrs. Parks was escorted off the bus and arrested. In response, the Women’s Political Council distributed fliers throughout the community urging African Americans to boycott the bus system. The Black community’s actions were felt by the city almost immediately, and, just over a year later, segregated buses were declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. The day after that decision took effect, Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery bus and was allowed to sit in any unoccupied seat.
For a glimpse at the upcoming Rosa Parks segment of THE MOVEMENT, watch the trailer below.