The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow

By Donnie Williams; Wayne Greenhaw | Go to book overview

5
Rough Days and Dangerous Nights

DURING THE FIRST WEEKS of the struggle, each side accused the other of using violence. Joe Azbell reported in the Advertiser that, according to Police Commissioner Clyde Sellers, many blacks were "threatened with physical violence" and "goon squads" were on patrol to keep them from riding buses. Sellers said that many people, white and black, throughout Montgomery were afraid. "I and members of the police department have gotten these reports and I assure anyone who has any idea of using goon-squad tactics that they will be arrested and brought to trial."

A Montgomery City Lines driver, George Henderson, said that his bus, traveling on Early and Hill streets in a black neighborhood, had been fired at six times. Police said a large-caliber pistol was used. A shot smashed the bus window about two feet from Henderson. Another struck the side of the bus. At the time, no passengers were on board.

H. A. Burks, another bus driver, told police that his vehicle had been hit twice by gunfire while traveling on Holcombe and Jeff Davis streets. One shot broke out a window. Police found

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The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents vii
  • Author's Note ix
  • Preface - America's Bus xi
  • Preface - A Personal History xv
  • 1: Before the Beginning 1
  • 2: His Own Man 21
  • 3: A Reporter's Scoop 67
  • 4: Hanging from the Stars 89
  • 5: Rough Days and Dangerous Nights 115
  • 6: The White Preacher 137
  • 7: The White Establishment Uses the Law 147
  • 8: King on Trial 177
  • 9: In Federal Court 207
  • 10: A Long, Hot Summer 223
  • 11: [A Glorious Daybreak] 235
  • Epilogue 257
  • Acknowledgments 275
  • Notes and Sources 277
  • Bibliography 283
  • Index 287
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