Transportation & the Civil Rights Movement

Significant steps in the advancement of the civil rights movement have occurred on transportation facilities, one of the most memorable was taken by Rosa Parks a 42 year old working woman on December 1, 1955.  Ms. Parks was arrested for not moving from her seat on a public bus to accommodate white passengers.  One year and one day later after a bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King public transportation laws were changed and blacks received equal rights while riding on public transit.  The success of this significant advancement in the civil rights movement was attributed to the courageous stand taken by Ms. Parks.   You can see a short video with an interview with Ms. Parks here.

Rosa Parks at the 1999 ceremony honoring her with the Congressional Gold Medal
Rosa Parks at the 1999 ceremony honoring her with the Congressional Gold Medal

Transit agencies across the country have memorialized Rosa Parks by posting plaques above seats on their buses which have been dedicated to the memory of Rosa Parks. The LANTA bus system in Allentown PA began dedicating seats in February 2014 for Black History month.

~ Thanks to Craig Copelan for suggesting this post

One thought on “Transportation & the Civil Rights Movement

  1. i believe one of the keys in the battle for access to transit was the automobile. although auto ownership was low in the African American population they were all mobilized into carpools to get people around after the bus companies tried a Whites only response. they functioned well and broke the back of the prohibitions on African-Americans.

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