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Impact of Boycott

The Supreme Court ruling

  • US national press covered event closely
  • Helped to raise awareness of deep racial hatred in the South
  • MIA went to a federal district court about segregation on transport – claimed it was unconstitutional and cited the Brown v Topeka case
  • Federal court ruled that is WAS unconstitutional
  • Montgomery city officials appealed and the case went to the Supreme Court
  • Supreme court upheld the federal court’s judgment
  • Boycott was successful – buses became integrated
  • WHITE REACTION: Ku Klux Klan sent carloads of members to black areas to intimidate residents – The blacks just waved at them!
  • 1957 – sniper attacks on buses, MLK’s house attacked, 4 churches bombed
  • Boycott had shown that unity, solidarity and a peaceful approach could win
  • Victory offered hope
  • NAACP had success through the law

Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

  • Middle class son of a Baptist minister, spoke at his father’s church – gifted orator
  • Had experienced prejudice as a student
  • MLK became a minister himself at a church in Montgomery
  • Chosen as leader of the MIA because hadn’t been there long enough to be biased towards any particular local organisations
  • Helped organise the boycott – when couldn’t get insurance for cars taking black people to work went to Lloyd’s of London
  • Inspirational and non-violent
  • Never intimidated even when house was firebombed, hate letters threatened to kill him
  • Gave the boycott a clear moral framework
  • Founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957)
  • Encouraged ‘seek justice and reject all injustice’
  • Encouraged white Americans to help challenge racism ‘not one hair of one head of one white person shall be harmed
  • Organised a Crusade for Citizenship in Washington in 1958
  • Widespread support but President Eisenhower refused to speak about civil rights

1957 Civil Rights Act

  • Middle class son of a Baptist minister, spoke at his father’s church – gifted orator
  • Had experienced prejudice as a student
  • MLK became a minister himself at a church in Montgomery
  • Chosen as leader of the MIA because hadn’t been there long enough to be biased towards any particular local organisations
  • Helped organise the boycott – when couldn’t get insurance for cars taking black people to work went to Lloyd’s of London
  • Inspirational and non-violent
  • Never intimidated even when house was firebombed, hate letters threatened to kill him
  • Gave the boycott a clear moral framework
  • Founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957)
  • Encouraged ‘seek justice and reject all injustice’
  • Encouraged white Americans to help challenge racism ‘not one hair of one head of one white person shall be harmed
  • Organised a Crusade for Citizenship in Washington in 1958
  • Widespread support but President Eisenhower refused to speak about civil rights
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