Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Decoded

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The Power of Boycotting for Equality

In 1955, for a total of 381 days, Dr. King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott to integrate the city’s mass transportation bus system. Dr. King helped galvanize virtually the entire community of color to support this initiative, which began when Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat to a White man on the bus. As a result of these actions, the U.S. Supreme Court declared racial segregation in transportation to be unconstitutional. The boycott also led to the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which helped organize additional marches. For Peterson the link between public services, race and socioeconomic issues makes this boycott a seminal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. “Transportation is about poor folk and working folk being able to make it back and forth to their jobs,” he says. “It reminds us how public services are tied to race and civic engagement around race and class issues.”

The Power of Boycotting for Equality

In 1955, for a total of 381 days, Dr. King…

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