10 Reasons Montgomery Bus Boycott Is One Of Greatest Examples Of Collective Black Power In U.S. History

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Car Pooling Saves the Day

Following the advice of T. J. Jemison, who had organized a carpool during a 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge, the MIA developed an intricate carpool system of about 300 cars, serving a population of between 40,000 and 50,000 African-American residents. Organizers of the carpool established “dispatch stations” in African-American neighborhoods throughout Montgomery where boycotters could gather in the mornings to be transported to work. Similarly, in the evenings, “pick-up stations” served the same function for the return home.

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Bombs Didn’t Work

In early 1956, the homes of King and E. D. Nixon were bombed. King was able to calm the crowd that gathered at his home by declaring: ‘‘Be calm as I and my family are. We are not hurt and remember that if anything happens to me, there will be others to take my place.” City officials obtained injunctions against the boycott in February 1956, and indicted over 80 boycott leaders under a 1921 law prohibiting conspiracies that interfered with lawful business. King was tried and convicted on the charge and ordered to pay $500 or serve 386 days in jail. Despite this resistance, the boycott continued.

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