Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955


Rosa Parks seated on a bus
Parks refused to move from her seat

In December 1955, Rosa Parks was on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

Segregation laws in Montgomery stated that when a bus was full the black passengers must stand and give their seat to a white passenger.

However, Parks refused and was arrested.


Park’s actions sparked a boycott (avoidance) of buses in Montgomery by the African American population.

This affected the income of the bus company, as around 60 to 70 per cent of customers had been African Americans.


The courts decided that the segregated nature of Montgomery’s buses was unconstitutional and ordered that they be desegregated.

This helped highlight the effectiveness of non-violence.

However, white people-only restaurants and theatres still existed in Montgomery and across all the southern states.

In the video below shows Rosa Parks and her lawyer explain the significance of the Montgomery Bus Boycott for the black community and the civil rights movement.