Letter from Robinson to the Mayor:
How long before Rosa Parks’ arrest was this letter written?
Roughly a year in a half before she was arrested.
Why do you think Robinson reminds the mayor that three-fourths of the bus riders in Montgomery are African American? What is her intention?
To insure the mayor knows that most of the profits come from African Americans and without it they would not be operational.
Given this document, agree or disagree with the following phrase, “Rosa Parks caused the Montgomery Bus Boycott.” Explain your position.
She didn’t necessarily cause it, she just helped influence something that was already needing and wanting to be done. Members of the African American community were fighting the injustices of “segregated” bus systems all the time. Rosa Parks, being a well known seamstress and and avid community goer, helped the boycott develop. When she was arrested, it made the community realize, enough was enough. Her community and friends got together and devised the boycott. (She wasn’t the only one to get arrest that day) But, her arrest caused more people get involved because of her status within the community.
Letter from Durr to Director of Highlander Folk School:
What is the author’s skin color? Why might that be important?
Virginia was a white woman, who was an activist for the African American community in the south. This is extremely important, because there were not many forward thinkers in the south like her. Having the support of a white woman is incredible and rare.
According to Durr, what did Myles and Zilphia Horton have to do with the Montgomery Bus Boycott?
They covered stories of the Montgomery Bus Boycott for the newspapers. They helped the African American community stick together through all of this so they could win their case.
Most textbooks refer to Rosa Parks as a tired seamstress. What image of Rosa Parks does this letter convey?
That she was a quiet, yet fierce women with a sense of pride. That she wasn’t going to be pushed around anymore.
Robinson on the boycott leaflet campaign:
When did Robinson write this? How might this detail influence our judgment of this document?
It’s from her memoir, published in 1987. It shows how secretive they had to be in order to get the word out so that, they weren’t stopped. It also shows how much their own stories were what influenced them to do it in the first place.
What resources were in place that helped Robinson with the leaflets?
Robinson used the college’s equipment and some of her senior students, who she too could trust and had the same aspirations of starting the boycott. She also used the WPC members to distribute the leaflets to all the African Americans in Montgomery.
Many accounts of the Montgomery Bus Boycott say that once Parks was arrested, the boycott happened. According to Robinson, what happened in between the arrest and the start of the boycott?
There was a lot of planning that went into the boycott. It wasn’t just immediately. This plan was discussed and leaflets were passed out to every single African American. Per previous videos, carpools were organized and walks were were routed, that didn’t just happen overnight.
Abernathy remembers the first meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association:
What were Abernathy’s two choices and what was the deciding factor guiding that choice? Why is this factor important in creating a successful boycott?
He could either call off the protest or continue the protest until they were granted their grievances. They had, had a successful first day of protest, but they did not want to push it, in fear of failure. They could always use that successful protest as a threat for negotiation in the future.
What does this document suggest about the leaders of the boycott? About their hopes for Rosa Parks?
They wanted to use Rosa Parks and Daniels as enthusiasm for the people, to give hope. They wanted to give them reason to continue on for the cause.
How did Abernathy know that the “people were with [them]”? How do you explain the supporters’ enthusiasm?
They knew that the people were with them, because of all the applause and excitement that arouse when they came in. They heard “resolutions calling for the continuation of the boycott….”
Handbill from Central Alabama Citizens Council rally:
When was this written? Given the timing, what might the authors’ intentions be in writing and sharing this document?
This was written on February 10th 1956. I think that Council was frightened because it was most likely time for re-election. They were worried that they were going to be replaced with someone they saw as “unfit”.
Consider the phrases and images used to describe African Americans. What obstacles to desegregation does this document show?
This document shows that they were against desegregation. That in Montgomery it did not fit in their city.
What historic document is this modeled after? What does this tell us about how the authors viewed themselves?
They want this document to be modeled after the Declaration of Independence, by naming it the Declaration of Segregation. They view themselves as the founding fathers or of much hierarchy then they themselves have authority for.
Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to the crowd:
Who was King’s audience? What does that imply about King’s intentions in this speech?
I believe King’s audience is his church, or at least the weekly meetings that he held there to discuss improvements for Montgomery. He talks about how even though they might be facing obstacles in getting the city to change, that nothing in life was changed overnight.
What does this document suggest are key factors in the success of the boycott?
That the protest is still going on and it is going on without violence. That they won’t back down, without courage there is no sacrifice.
Find and list four references to religion in this speech. How does King use religion in this speech? What does this imply about the role of religion in the boycott?
“Ours is a spiritual movement depending on moral and spiritual fortitude.”
“Let us continue with the same spirit, with the same orderliness, with the same discipline, with the same Christian approach.”
“I believe that God is using Montgomery as his proving ground…. God be praised for you, for your loyalty, for your determination.”
“God bless you and keep you, and may God be with us as we go on.”
He uses religion in his speech to uplift people and give them hope. To let them know that God wouldn’t give them anything they couldn’t handle and that he is always there to back them. It also help him to keep the people at peace from provoking violence during the protests.
Bayard Rustin’s diary:
How long after the bus boycott began was this document written?
A little over a month.
How was it possible for African Americans to stay off the buses, but still get to work during the boycott?
Carpooling, hitch-hiking, transportation of servants by white housewives, and walking.
Who does this document suggest were important to the success of the boycott?
The carpooling is the heart of the movement and it must not be stopped.
Interview about the boycott:
What experiences and events motivate this woman to continue boycotting the buses?
She had to get up so that a white man could take her seat and there were no more seats in the back of the bus. Then a high school girl was arrested for refusing to give up her seat.
What does this woman want as a result of the boycott?
For everyone to be treated the same and for them to stop being nasty to them.
Whose direction does this woman follow?
She follows her preachers word.