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.



Interview about the boycott

Researchers from Fisk University visited Montgomery, Alabama, during the boycott to learn more and to document the movement. Researcher Willie Lee recorded this woman's ideas about the boycott during an interview at a car pool dispatch center.

Maid: This stuff has been going on for a long time. To tell you the truth, it’s been happening ever since I came here before [World War II]. But here in the last few years they’ve been getting worse and worse. When you get on the bus they yell: "Get on back there"... and half of the time they wouldn’t take your transfer, then they make you get up so white men could sit down where there were no seats in the back. And you know about a year ago they put one of the high school girls in jail 'cause she wouldn't move. They should have boycotted the buses then. But we are sure fixing 'em now and I hope we don’t ever start back riding... We [are] people, we are not dogs or cats.... All we want 'em to do is treat us right. They shouldn’t make me get up for some white person when I paid the same fare and I got on first. And they should stop being so nasty.... We pay just like the white folks....

[The bus companies] are the ones losing the money and our preachers say we will not ride unless they give us what we want.... You see the business men are losing money too, because people only go to town when they have to.... When you do something to my people you do it to me too....

Excerpt from an interview conducted by Willie Lee, January 1956. Montgomery, Alabama.

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