Week of events marks Montgomery Bus Boycott’s 65th anniversary

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It was 65 years ago this week that a single act led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which many consider the start of the modern Civil Rights movement.

Area leaders now plan to honor that beginning with a week of commemorative events from Dec. 1-7.

Leaders addressed plans to celebrate the anniversary of the boycott at the Holt Street Baptist Church, the site of the first mass meeting for Montgomery Improvement Association. That group was instrumental in organizing the boycott.

“We continue to try to bring about positive change and social justice throughout this country. We look to this moment and we look to the men and women and children who led this movement as examples, as inspiration for us to continue to lead,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed.

Officials say you can go to their Facebook page for details on those events.

The events include:

FREE Admission to the Rosa Parks Museum, December 1-5

Visitors are invited to enjoy free admission to the Rosa Parks Museum, featuring Mrs. Parks’ original fingerprint card and personal effects from the Library of Congress. The museum is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Face masks are required, and social distancing must be practiced.

The Quest: A Historical Scavenger Hunt, December 1-7

This self-guided scavenger hunt takes visitors to historical sites to learn about the people and places that were pivotal to the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Participants who visit all the sites and post on Facebook using the hashtag #mgmbusboycottchallenge will be entered into a drawing to win a historical swag bag. A listing of all sites is available at www.mgmbusboycott.com. Images and locations are provided by the Montgomery Improvement Association and the African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium.

Tour a 1955 Montgomery Transit Bus, December 1

Located at the Rosa Parks Museum, guests can walk through an exact replica of the iconic bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, sparking the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Tours are available from 12-5 p.m.

A Unity Walk to Celebrate Rosa Parks’ Faith and Legacy in the Civil Rights Movement, December 1

St. Paul AME invites guests to join its annual Unity March from Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church to the Rosa Parks Museum. The march will begin at 5:30 p.m. and social distancing will be practiced.

Virtual Panel: The Montgomery Bus Boycott in Perspective, December 3

Those unable to participate in-person can join the Alabama Department of Archives and History for a virtual history/now panel. Examining the past’s connection to the present, the panel will discuss the history of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and its continued legacy today.

Georgia Gilmore Food Giveaway, December 3

This day will be an active way to honor the legacy of Georgia Gilmore who ensured many were fed during the movement. Beginning at 9 a.m. at Metropolitan UMC (3108 Rosa Parks Avenue), food will be distributed through a non-contact process. Those interested in volunteering can email info@metromgm.org or call 334-263-0950.

BBQ & Brushes Block Party and Capital Campaign, December 5

This “Get off the Bus” campaign will support the revitalization of a thriving arts and business district in the Washington Park community. The event, beginning at 11 a.m., will include remarks from Mayor Steven L. Reed, music from a local DJ, the live creation of visual art available for purchase and tours of the future expansion of King’s Canvas, a local non-profit studio/gallery.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes, December 5

Visitors can experience live art and history, including details of the historic Browder v. Gayle court case from Butler Browder, son of Aurelia Browder. The event will take place at the I am More Than Campus and will begin at 3 p.m. Children activities will be offered.

World Film Premiere: 382: Organizing for the Future, December 5

The film, 382: Organizing for the Future, highlights not only the Montgomery Bus Boycott, but also modern-day activism currently happening in Montgomery. The world premiere of the film will be a COVID-safe “old school drive in” event beginning at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field. The premiere can be viewed anywhere virtually via the City of Montgomery’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

The Ralph D. Abernathy Civil Rights Lecture Series, December 7

This virtual event will feature the mass meetings of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the rise of a new generation of African American community activists. The series will begin at 6 p.m.

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