Martin Luther King, Jr. And Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1535 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

Civil Rights Movement Play- Conversation Between King and Parks

Rosa Parks: Martin, I've been thinking about how we need a plaintiff to test the Montgomery bus laws. I would be willing to do it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Rosa, you realize that you will be arrested and prosecuted, don't you?


Of course I realize it, Martin, but what choice do we have? The NAACP needs a test plaintiff and no one else is lining up for the job. I've been the acting secretary here. You know, I've been the acting secretary for the Montgomery branch of the NAACP for a while, and I just haven't seen the type of advancements I'd hoped for. I'm tired of giving in. I'm ready to stand up, Martin. I'm ready to sit down on that bus.

MLK: We need to think this through. Just having you take a seat isn't going to be enough to cause the kind of changes we need. What else do you think we can do?

Rosa: Obviously, the first component is that I'm going to challenge the legality of the law, itself. Lots of Blacks have been arrested for violating the law, but no one has decided to actually protest their convictions.

MLK: Are you prepared to go to jail?

Rosa: Don't you feel like we're already in jail? We pay the same prices as everybody else, but don't get to take a seat in certain sections of the bus or even in the "colored" section if too many white people get on the bus. That's ridiculous.

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MLK: Well, the first thing that we need to do is get the churches involved. After you get arrested, I think we need to send word through the churches about a bus boycott. It will begin as soon as you get arrested.

Rosa: That's a good idea. But Martin, how are people going to get to and from work?

MLK: They can walk.

Rosa: I forget that you aren't from Montgomery. There's no way that everyone will be able to walk to and from work.

Term Paper on Martin Luther King, Jr. And Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement Assignment

MLK: I think you're right. We need to get together and talk with Ralph Abernathy, Jo Anne Robinson and E.D. Nixon. I think that, after working with them, we may be able to come up with a solution to the transportation problems.

Rosa: Well, I have a couple of friends that work as housekeepers. I can tell you one thing; those white women they work for aren't going to be without their housekeepers. I bet they can get their employers to pick them up and take them to work. For everyone else, what about car pools? I think we can arrange to set up car pools and ride sharing services to make sure that people can get back and forth.

MLK: We can also set up a taxi fund.

Rosa: I worry about the taxi drivers though?

MLK: Why?

Rosa: What if whites start boycotting the taxis when they transport us? Then the taxi drivers will suffer financially.

MLK: That's a good point. However, they'll have a lot more business. Of course, there is the risk that people will be violent towards them.

Rosa: And what about the protestors? Do you think that some of them might lose their jobs or be in some sort of physical danger?

MLK: I think they probably will be.

Rosa: Given all of these obstacles, do you think we'll be able to get people involved in the boycott?

MLK: Well, right now the ministers are working on our flocks. We're talking about how we are being denied our civil rights. We're trying to encourage people to think about what they can do to make things better for themselves and for their children. If you wait a while before taking a seat, we may be able to get people in the state of mind that they do need to do something.

Rosa: That's a great idea. I think that we need to make sure that people are going to take part in the boycott before I get arrested. Or else, even if our challenge of the bus laws is successful, we really haven't gained much.

MLK: We'll make sure and work on that. Now, what do we need to do once we get the word that you've been arrested?

Rosa: I think we should hand out handbills, as well. This way, people have something to take with them to explain the purpose of what's going on, how it is going to work, and answering questions that people may have.

MLK: You've lived in Montgomery for a while. What type of support do you think we'll get from our community?

Rosa: I'm guessing about 60%. What do you think?

MLK: I'm hoping for somewhere around 80%.

Rosa: That's ambitious.

MLK: Well, Rosa, if we can't get Black people involved in this boycott, how can we expect to change white minds about these laws?

Rosa: That's a good point. Look, when I get arrested, everyone needs to make sure it gets publicity. I think it would be too easy for my case to get lost in the system if you don't. Either that, or they could just dismiss the charges against me, and we'd never get a chance to challenge the legality of the law.

MLK: Hmmm. How can we get the word out to people outside of Montgomery?

Rosa: I think that if we can get enough people involved in the protest, the rest of the country will have to sit up and take notice. Also, what if we had Blacks in other cities protest bus lines that are associated with the Montgomery bus line?

MLK: That might be too ambitious. So far, we haven't even been able to get everyone in Montgomery behind the idea of challenging the segregated seating. Why do you think that is?

Rosa: We haven't had the leadership so far. The Blacks that are educated enough to lead a protest like this haven't really been interested in getting involved. Besides, we have had some people refuse to give up their seats. Two young women, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin and eighteen-year-old Mary Louise Smith, were both arrested for failing to give up their seats. Both of them were tried and convicted. We got angry, but no one did anything about it.

MLK: You're right. We're going to need some really strong leadership. I think we need to form an organization aimed at leading Montgomery in the struggle for civil rights. That way, there will be an organization behind the demands against the city.

Rosa: That's a good idea. I think it will help people because it will give some unity to the movement. It will also give a focus for the anger and retaliation that are sure to result from the boycott.

MLK: You know you're going to be one of those targets. They'll target your family, too.

Rosa: The way I see it, we're already targeted.

MLK: Obviously, one of the goals of the boycott is to get rid of white-only seating. Should we have other demands?

Rosa: Yes. I don't know if you've been on the buses Martin, but all of the bus drivers are white. They call Black people derogatory names and subject us to abuse. Lots of times they take our money and then make us walk to the back entrance. Before we can get there they drive away. The drivers have to start treating Blacks with some respect. If not, it doesn't matter if we get the right to sit in the front seats.

MLK: You say all of the bus drivers are white?

Rosa: Every single one.

MLK: Then, I think we need to demand that they hire Black bus drivers as well.

Rosa: That's a good point. Blacks make up the majority… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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