Marc Chabrier ©
In our time we have many types of influencers in many different areas. Some of them use their talents for good but it seems there are a lot of them that seem to have very little lasting impact on the world around us. Let’s rewind to the last century to get to some of the oldie but goodies.
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake‘s order to relinquish her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) believed that she was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama's segregation laws.
Parks’ prominence in the community and her willingness to become a controversial figure inspired the black community to boycott Montgomery buses for over a year, the first major direct action campaign of the post-war civil rights movement. Her case became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit Browder v. Gayle succeeded in November 1956.
Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King Jr., a new minister in Montgomery who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement and went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the non-violent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.
King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and later became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As president of the SCLC, he then led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the non-violent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped organize the Selma to Montgomery marches. In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty, capitalism, and the Vietnam War.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover considered him a radical and made him an object of the FBI’s COINTELPRO from 1963 on. FBI agents investigated him for possible communist ties, recorded his extra-marital liaisons and reported on them to government officials, and, in 1964, mailed King a threatening anonymous letter, which he interpreted as an attempt to make him commit suicide.
Juliette Hampton Morgan (February 21, 1914 – July 16, 1957) was a librarian and civil rights activist in Montgomery, Alabama. The only daughter from a well-to-do white family, Morgan was an early member of the community that pushed for integration. As a librarian, she often spoke out against the acts of injustice she witnessed against African-Americans by writing letters to the Montgomery Advertiser, the local newspaper.
She was castigated by the community for her racial views and was targeted by segregationists who broke her windows and burned a cross in her front yard. Unable to bear the strain caused by the unrelenting retaliation caused by her views, she took her own life.
Which was your favorite? Why?
Hi, I’m Marc! Father, photographer, exotic car lover, progressive learner, and an all-around good guy with a cartoon-like personality.
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