“The majority of Negroes who took part in the year-long boycott of Montgomery’s buses were poor and untutored; but they understood the essence of the Montgomery movement; one elderly woman summed it up for the rest. When asked after several weeks of walking whether she was tired, she answered: My feet is tired, but my soul is at rest.
~Martin Luther King, Jr
It was just over 60 years ago when a woman by the name of Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a White passenger on a city bus. The controversial act lead to Parks arrests and sparked the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycotts which lasted 381 days. The 13-month protest ended with the United States ruling that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.
We haven’t seen an impact as big as the MBB (Montgomery bus boycotts) take place in 60 years which have some people saying that boycotts are just not as effective as they once were. Is this true? Maybe! The act of boycotting isn’t what’s ineffective. I believe it’s the absence of carrying it out and the lack of productivity during and after the boycotts. Think about it. The MBB took place for 381 days. That is over a year of determination and dedication and it paid off well. The problem today is we lack the dedication and we refuse to sacrifice our temporary comfort for the greater cause.
It’s been over a month since the Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile killings. Most people were outraged and fed-up with what was happening and proclaimed to make a difference. A lot of us received text messages and emails saying boycott Target, Walmart, etc. We’ve watched videos telling us to move our money to Black owned banks. WE WERE HYPED!!! And it lasted for about a week. Though Black owned banks seen an increase in new accounts, the journey doesn’t stop there. Just because the news isn’t talking about it, doesn’t mean we stop talking about it. Just imagine if Blacks could unify for the greater cause for six months, one year, two years…. How amazing would that be?
Boycotting is effective if applied appropriately. It isn’t something you do as a standalone; meaning don’t JUST boycott for a few hours and spend the rest of your days doing nothing to support the cause.
Here are some tips you can do to make sure your boycott efforts are effective:
- City specific boycotts
- Put your money into Black owned banks
- Support Black owned businesses
“It is easy to sit up and take notice, what is difficult is getting up and taking action.”
~Honore de Balzac
For image: Digital Image.381 days. Publish date unknown. August 18th, 2016 https://aupushistory.wikispaces.com/Montgomery+Bus+Boycott