The Montgomery Bus Boycott a year-long protest in Montgomery, Alabama, that galvanized the American Civil Rights Movement and led to a 1956 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States declaring segregated seating on buses unconstitutional.
In December 1955, 42,000 black residents of Montgomery began a year-long boycott of city buses ( Montgomery Bus Boycott ) to protest racially segregated seating. After 381 days of taking taxis, carpooling, and walking the hostile streets of Montgomery, African Americans eventually won their fight to desegregate seating on public buses, not only in Montgomery, but throughout the United States.
The protest was first organized by the Women's Political Council as a one-day boycott to coincide with the trial of Rosa Parks, who had been arrested on December 1, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated Montgomery bus. By the next morning, the council, led by JoAnn Robinson, had printed 52,000 fliers asking Montgomery blacks to stay off public buses on December 5, the day of the trial. Meanwhile, labor activist E. D. Nixon, who had bailed Parks out of jail, notified Ralph Abernathy, minister of the First Baptist Church, and Martin Luther King Jr., the new minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, of Parks's arrest. A group of about 50 black leaders and one white minister, Robert Graetz, gathered in the basement of King's church to endorse the boycott and begin planning a massive rally for the evening of the trial. Graetz offered his support from the pulpit of his predominantly white Lutheran church. The Montgomery Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which had been looking for a test case for segregation, began preparing for the legal challenge.