Daybreak of Freedom: The Montgomery Bus Boycott

By Stewart Burns | Go to book overview

Fall... 11...

For Montgomery's black community, buoyed by the Browder ruling, boycotting buses became a way of life. Late summer and autumn brought new legal and extralegal efforts by segregationists to shut down the prolonged mass protest. Insurance policies for car pool vehicles were mysteriously canceled. Rev. Robert Graetz's home was bombed; fortunately he, his wife, and children were away, visiting Highlander Folk School in Tennessee accompanied by Rosa Parks. Confidential information arrived (probably from Graetz's trusted local FBI contact) and rumors abounded that outside Citizens Council activists, provoked partly by emerging divisions in their own ranks, were conspiring to intervene, vigilante-style, to stop Montgomery's second civil war. There were reports too that a phalanx of white trade unionists would sweep into town and make citizen's arrests of car pool drivers.

Nevertheless, awaiting optimistically the Supreme Court's rendezvous with Browder, King and MIA leaders began to prepare people for riding desegregated buses and reconciling with the white community. This included planning a week-long commemoration of the bus boycott's first anniversary that would appraise the protest and provide more training in the powerful new tool of nonviolent direct action.

It was not only favorable legal developments that turned the tide toward the triumph of "justice over injustice." Overriding all odds, expectations, and stereotypes, the African American community had remained remarkably unified. In the early months it looked like the segregationists might succeed in solidifying the majority white community as well. But the fast-growing Cit

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Daybreak of Freedom: The Montgomery Bus Boycott
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents ix
  • Contents x
  • Preface... the Spirit of Montgomery xi
  • Acknowledgments... xv
  • Overview... the Proving Ground 1
  • Chronology... 39
  • Editorial Practices... 53
  • Abbreviations for Collections and Archives... 55
  • Prelude... 1... 57
  • December... 2... 81
  • January... 3... 111
  • Interlude... 4... 137
  • February... 5... 147
  • Interlude... 6... 177
  • March... 7... 195
  • Interlude... 8... 221
  • Spring... 9... 235
  • Summer... 10... 263
  • Fall... 11... 281
  • Winter: Return of the Light... 12... 307
  • Selected Bibliography 349
  • Index 351
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