Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 14: Let Freedom Ring
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7

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Rosa Parks on a Bus
Segment 2
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But something startling is happening in Montgomery. Like Rosa Parks, most black people are no longer afraid. They stay off the buses on Monday. And on Tuesday. And then all week. And all month. And on and on, in rain and cold and sleet and through the heat of summer. They share rides; they carpool; they walk. Montgomery's bigots decide to take action. Houses are burned, churches are bombed, and shots are fired . But Montgomery's black people don't back down. They stay off the buses.

Reporters begin to come to Montgomery to see what is happening. Television crews come too. Soon people around the nation, and around the world, are watching the marchers of Montgomery. They march to work; they march to organized carpool centers. When they are arrested, they march to jail.

And so, while the segregationists use violence to pursue their ideals, Montgomery's black community protests non-violently with unflinching courage. They don't scream back. They maintain their dignity. They use what Martin Luther King calls "the weapon of love." King later says, "I look back over Montgomery and think of the fact that for all of these days—381 days—more than 99 9/10% of the Negro citizens participated in the boycott. They confronted harassing experiences, they confronted physical violence, and never did they retaliate with a single act of physical violence."

The weapon of love wins the battle. Thirteen months after Rosa Parks's arrest See It Now - Rosa Parks on a Bus, the Supreme Court rules that segregation on Alabama buses is unconstitutional. The boycott is over Check The Source - "Integrated Bus Suggestions"! Martin Luther King, Jr., E.D. Nixon, Ralph Abernathy (a black minister), and George Smiley (a Texas-born white minister) climb aboard Montgomery's first integrated bus and all sit up front. The people of Montgomery have not only changed their world, they have changed their times.


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Did You Know?
According to the Montgomery bus company receipts, about 90 percent of the blacks who usually rode the buses joined the boycott and found other means of transportation. That led to a huge loss of money for the people who owned the bus company.


Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?



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