Factors or events that led to the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama 1955

The Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama state was as a result of racial segregation which was a city policy governing the public transit system. This was a very bad policy whose aim was to sideline African black Americans. There are two main factors that led to this protest. They include social as well as political factors. Politically, the protest was held to oppose the law that demanded the blacks to give up seats for the whites in a bus (Aldon, 1984). The blacks also wanted to use this opportunity to push for political reforms that would incorporate some of them into leadership unlike before. In this racial segregation, the public transit system was very discriminative. Therefore, the blacks decided to carry out the protest so that their social status could also be respected and recognized.

Socially, the blacks protested so that they can be treated equally as the whites and their rights respected when using the public transit system. In this public transit system, the procedure was that the blacks were to occupy seats starting from the back towards the front. The whites on the other hand were to occupy seats starting from the front towards the back. The blacks took this as a racial discrimination and had to fight against it. The blacks could also use the front door of a bus just to pay and then match out to use the back door to boarder the bus. Sometimes the bus could leave before they re-enter.

The blacks seating in front rows of the back were to give up seats for the whites coming in late in case they find the front space occupied. The blacks had no option other than standing. These are the kind of events that led to the boycott protest (Aldon, 1984). The arrest of Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat for the white American who bordered the bus late also triggered the protest. After the court declared her guilty of disobeying the diver, she decided to appeal the case.

On the other hand, the blacks were not happy about this event and decided to protest against it. It is like they were waiting for this opportunity to fight against this policy. The protest went on for a long period till the authority made a step to change the racial segregation policy. Since then, the discrimination came to an end and anyone could now occupy any seat in the bus (Aldon, 1984). The landmark ruling by the Supreme Court on the case filed by Brown against the education board also contributed to the protest. There was racial segregation on public schools where whites were given better educational facilities and opportunities than balks.

The court declared this unconstitutional. Since the segregation did not only apply to public schools but also to other public facilities including public transit, there was need to carry out protest so that the Supreme Court can also reverse on this law. This is another factor that led to the bus boycott protest in Alabama.

Factors that led to the development of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

The events that led to development of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee were mainly based on the practice of segregation which was not favorable to the southern blacks.

There were strong physical shackles that ensured that the black southerners remained in a state of mental and physical peonage. In order to break these chains, the students through the American civil rights movement had to come up with this committee. The other event that led to development of SNCC was the discrimination against the roles performed by American southerners.

The whites discriminated the blacks against performing some tasks including employment, voting and other duties. Therefore, this SNCC had to be developed to ensure that the American southerners get the right to perform any task provided that they meet the qualifications for the task. The committee was to ensure that the whites and the blacks get equal opportunities when it comes to performing certain tasks. The black women were to be empowered just like any other ordinary citizen and their rights as human beings respected.

The committee was therefore developed to ensure that there is general equality between the blacks and the whites (Aldon, 1984). The four black student’s lunch counter sit-ins also led to the development of SNCC. They organized nonviolent protests against segregation exercised on the private sector. The sit-ins later spread and many students joined the protests and this led to development of SNCC to flight against segregation through civil rights movements.

The congress of racial equality is another early 1960s organization that led to development of SNCC. Their belief is that every person was created equally and thus works towards ensuring equality among all state members. This is one of the factors that led to development of SNCC to also fight for equality. The above factors and events made the Supreme Court change its stand on the racial segregation policy that discriminated against the blacks. This led to formation and empowering of the national Civil Rights Movement in the 20th century that saw the rights of blacks respected and racial segregation policy abolished (Aldon, 1984).


Aldon, D. (1984).

The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing For Change. New York: The Free Press.


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