Entry for March 12, 2006

While the late Rosa Parks was the face of the Montgomery bus boycott, another hero is Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, then an English professor at Alabama State College who served as president of the  Women’s Political Council during the boycott. 

In May 1954, days after the Supreme Courts Brown v. Board of Educaiton decision, Robinson  wrote her mayor threatening a black boycott of city buses if abuses continued. Following Park’s arrest in December 1955, she produced the leaflets which spead word of the boycott among the community.

While she was one of the most active board members of the Montgomery Improvement Association, she stayed out of the limelight in order to protect her teaching position and those of her activist colleagues.  In 1960, she left Montgomery and after  teaching a year at Grambling College, moved to Los Angeles, where she taught English in the public schools until her 1976 retirement. 

The University of Tennessee Press at Knoxville published her memoir, The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It,  in 1987.  While the hardcover edition is out of print, the trade paperback remains available.

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