The Moment

Teaching About the Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on December 5, 1955, and lasted over a year. It’s difficult to overstate the influence of the boycott’s strategy, successes and leadership on how the Civil Rights Movement of the coming decades took shape. In our newest article, we examine the history of the Montgomery Bus Boycott through the lens of Learning for Justice’s newest framework, Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, and we recommend resources that help provide a fuller account of this pivotal event. Often, the boycott is taught in a way that oversimplifies it, reducing it to its most famous moment: Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat. That reduction ignores key context about organizing strategy, leadership, and community involvement, all of which are essential for understanding the role that the boycott played in subsequent years. These Learning for Justice resources provide key guidance for understanding and teaching this rich moment in civil rights history.

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