DIRECTIONS: Read the assignment prompt. Use the material in the right pane to review the sources and your answers from the Inquiry page, by selecting a source and then using the tabs. Compose your answer in the box on the left. Use the email form to send your answer to your instructor.

ASSIGNMENT: Some books say something like this: "Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a White man. African Americans heard this and decided to boycott the buses." But this is a brief description of a complex event. Write a more complete answer to the question: Why did the boycott of Montgomery’s buses succeed?

Use the documents and your background knowledge to support your ideas. Include specific examples and quotes.



Robinson Mugshot

Jo Ann Robinson was arrested with many other activists on December 21, 1955 for her activities during the boycott.


These definitions should help with reading comprehension.

  • boycott: a refusal to deal with something, such as an organization, a company, or a process, as a protest against it and to force it to become more acceptable
  • "Negroes": the term used to refer to African Americans during this period
  • Women's Political Council: an organization for African American professional women who sought to increase the influence of the Black community in local politics

Jo Ann Robinson

Listen to Historian Mike O'Malley discuss Jo Ann Robinson's background and her relationship to the boycott.

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