Of the federal district declaring segregated seating on buses

Of course, Martin Luther King wasn’t the only Civil Rights
activist who helped achieve equality for Black African Americans. On December 1st
1955 Rosa Parks was commuting home by bus, even though most black residents in
Montgomery avoided taking the bus as it meant they were forced to follow the ‘
Negroes in back’ policy which made them feel humiliated. The policy was a part
of the law, as the front of Montgomery buses were reserved for white passengers
only whilst the seats in the back were for African American passengers. So
during Parks’ bus journey home, the bus driver informed the passengers that the
first row of the ‘coloured’ section were to be for the white passengers in
effect adding another ‘white’ section because the ‘white’ section of seats were
all taken. This therefore meant African American passengers who sat in that
front row were left standing. Whilst the other African American passengers
stood up, Parks refused to stand. In Rosa Parks’ autobiography she stated how “People
always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but this isn’t true.
I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in”.1
In the end, Parks was found guilty of disobeying the segregation laws, and she
was fined 14 dollars. Many people felt sympathy for what Parks had went through,
and they decided to organise the Montgomery bus boycott which lasted 381 days. However
the boycotters went through a lot as many of them were arrested and taken to
jail, some were threatened and even King’s home was bombed as mentioned
earlier. But regardless of what the boycotters, they still fought for what they
believed was right. This resulted in the federal district declaring segregated
seating on buses to be unconstitutional. Another civil rights activist is Malcolm
little, or commonly known as Malcolm X. In 1946, he was sentenced to prison for
stealing property and while in prison he became a member of the Nation of Islam.
Once he was released from prison he changed his name to Malcolm X in 1952, and
he helped lead the Nation of Islam and he organised temples for the Nation in
New York. Malcolm X organised many temples and he was rewarded with the post of
minister of Temple number 7 in Harlem, which was the second largest temple
after the Chicago headquarters. Elijah Muhammad recognised Malcolm’s talent and
he named him the National Representative of the Nation of Islam (second in
command). Malcolm was well known for his articulate public speaking at major
universities such as Harvard University and the University of Oxford. The major
difference between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King is that whilst King was an advocate
for non-violent methods, Malcolm urged his followers to defend themselves by
any means necessary. However Malcolm left the nation in 1964, and embraced
Sunni Islam the same year he visited Mecca. Malcolm X changed his name to the Muslim
name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, and he shared how he believed that the solution
to racial discrimination in America is Sunni Islam and not the Nation of Islam.
However there was a growing conflict between Malcolm and the Nation, resulting
to death threats against Malcolm. On 21st February 1965, Malcolm was
assassinated and three members of Nation of Islam were convicted of the murder.

1
Rosa Parks’ autobiography

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