From Emmett Till to Barack Obama
On December 1, 1955, Parks, a 42-year-old seamstress, boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus filled up, the driver asked her to surrender her seat near the front of the bus for one in the back, so that a white person might take her place. When she refused, the driver had her arrested. Though her act of defiance was relatively small she was fined $10 and forced to pay $4 in court costs it inspired local activists to organize a boycott of the city bus system. A small group calling itself the "Montgomery Improvement Association" was organized, and its members elected as their president a young minister named Martin Luther King.