Jo Ann Robinson
Jo Ann Robinson organized a city bus boycott by African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama, that gained national attention, the support of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders, and ultimately changed the course of civil rights in America.
Disgusted by her experience of racial segregation first hand for sitting in the empty white section of a city bus, she began to mobilize against the segregated system. Following the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, Robinson distributed a flyer that she’d written urging for Montgomery’s African Americans to boycott the buses on December 5 of that year. Robinson distributed more than 50,000 flyers overnight calling for the boycott.
For her role as a leader, she was arrested and targeted with violence; police officers threw a rock into her window and poured acid on her car. The harassment became so bad that state police were requested to guard her home. The boycott continued until June 5, 1956, when a federal district court declared segregated seating unconstitutional.