Remembering A Mother of the Movement

December 5 is the 61st anniversary of the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the first major civil rights campaign led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet Dr. King did not initiate the campaign. Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. Jo Ann Robinson led the effort to publicize a one day bus boycott on the day of Mrs. Parks trial - December 5. The boycott was so successful that a mass meeting was held at Holt Street Baptist Church that night to decide whether or not to continue the boycott. Martin Luther King, Jr., the relatively new pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, was chosen to give the main address that night as the newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. The response at the meeting was an outpouring of commitment to continue the boycott. It was to last 381 days and go down in history. Dr. King wrote a book about the Montgomery campaign titled Stride Toward Freedom. It is an amazing account of a non-violent faith based movement for racial and social justice. Sixty one years later, racial tension and injustice are still with us in different forms. As we give thanks for the witness of Rosa Parks and the thousands of others who sacrificed during the Montgomery campaign, let us recommit ourselves to standing up for racial justice and reconciliation in our time. Watch the video below for a brief overview of the life and witness of Rosa Parks - a Mother of the Movement.