Happy Martin Luther King Day!
As we look back and remember Martin Luther King, Jr. today, we commemorate what would have been his 84th birthday this year. As most of you may know Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence throughout his life. One of the the first stands he made against racial inequality that garnished national attention was as the leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which took place from December 5, 1955 to December 20, 1956. This protest is regarded as the first large-scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S.
It all began with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat on December 1, 1955. This courageous act sparked a boycott of the bus transportation system in Montgomery, Alabama by all of those that opposed racial segregation.
Personal vehicles became so much more important to aide in the efforts, without the buses to rely on for transportation. The boycotters carpooled to places that were too far away for them to walk to. All sorts of people supported the boycott by volunteering to drive protesters to the places they needed to go. Without the support of these boycotters and their vehicles, the demonstration would have been much more difficult to sustain.
Thanks to the persistence of everyone supporting the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Supreme Court finally decided to integrate the buses, allowing all riders, regardless of race, to sit wherever they please.
If you are looking for a way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, consider taking a stand for something you believe in as Martin Luther King, Jr. said to the supporters of the Montgomery Bus Boycott,
“…if a man doesn’t have something that he’ll die for, he isn’t fit to live.”