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  • Writer's pictureAli Assareh

Today in Legal History: Integration of buses in Montgomery, Alabama (Dec 21, 1956)

Today, on Dec 21, 1956, Montgomery, Alabama was forced to integrate its buses for all Americans, "colored" & white.

Most people are familiar with Brown v. Board of Education, as the seminal case that "ended segregation." In reality, though, fighting segregation was a monumental legal, political & social effort - one that continues to this day.

For example, Montgomery segregated buses well after Brown v. Board (which only invalidated racial segregation in public schools). It took the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Rosa Parks and Dr. King (among others), and the Browder v. Gayle case, to invalidate the Alabama state statute AND Montgomery city ordinance requiring segregation of "whites" & "coloreds" on buses.

It was genius & perseverance of leaders like Dr. King & lawyers like Thurgood Marshall (who went on to become the first black Justice on the Supreme Court) to build a comprehensive strategy that, brick by brick, chipped away at the walls of racism and hatred.

As Dr. King said in his speech that kicked off the Boycott: "We are not wrong in what we are doing.... If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, justice is a lie. Love has no meaning."

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