Blacks in Montgomery, as was in all southern states were aware of the injustice, the racially discriminatory laws and racial violence (Sherol, 2010). Racial segregation was one of permitted acts of discrimination following the united states supreme court decision in Plessy and Ferguson in 1896.other forms of injustice included voter suppression, denial of economic opportunity and private acts of violence.
African American was expected to board buses through the rear door and to sit at the rear seats even if the bus was empty. In 1949, a bus driver screamed at a black professor Jo Ann Robinson because she sat at the front. In 1950s a black pastor named Vernon Johns encouraged other blacks to protest when he was asked to give his seat to a white man by 1954 various organizations were already planning a boycott of buses (Morris, 1984). Women's Political Council in Montgomery was one of the organizations planning for such a boycott.
December 1, 1955 Rosa Park refused to give up her seat to a white man and she was arrested tried and convicted. When Edgar Nixon, one of the African American civil leader and union organizer heard the news, he went and posted a bond for her (Frost, 2002). He requested Parks to allow him to organize boycotts to break down segregation on the bus with her case. She agreed.
Nixon spoke with various ministers including Martin Luther King Jr. Rev Ralph David Abernathy and Rev E.N. French who agreed to participate in the protest. They come up with a list of demands for the bus company and formed an organization named the Montgomery Improvement Association. (MIA). According to Garrow, (1987) King becomes the president and Nixon the treasurer. They organized the Montgomery Bus boycott, it received the support of more than 50 000 African Americans, this caused a reduction on the revenue of the bus company of up to 80%. By this time, the movement had gained National attention through the media, causing the entire nation to yearn for change. Eruption of events in other areas like violence and murders in Alabama in 1963 and Mississippi in 1964 gained support nationally. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated after he had introduced civil rights legislation. President Lyndon B. Johnson took office and in January 1964 met with the civil rights leaders. According to Cozzens, 1997) a case went through the court system to the United States Supreme Court, which gave a ruling that the segregation policy was against the law.
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The Tutsi An Hermitic African Group History Essay
Published: 23, March 2015
The Tutsi are an ethno-linguistic Hermitic-African group of people in Rwanda and Burundi of Central Africa. They belong to the legendary 'Lost Tribes of Israel' who arrived along the Nile to Africa around 1000 BC. They were seen to be rather fairer in complexion than their African counterparts. Some were also taller in structure and during their long sojourns, retained some of the customary Ethiopian and Egyptian gift for the search of wisdom, knowledge and curiosity. They are also known to be great intellectuals and thinkers.
John Hanning Speke a British colonial agent and an 'explorer' who 'discovered' and named Lake Victoria visited parts of the area declared that there was 'a superior race'-the Tutsi among the natives, and that they must have come from elsewhere and were far superior to the local 'savage natives'. And that these 'light skinned' people must belong to and related to the 'noble Europeans'.
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Missionaries who worked closely with anthropologists, travelers and explorers considered the Tutsis a 'distinct' group' and 'too fine' to be associated with 'common Negroes'. This 'theory' became grounded in the socio-political and cultural dynamics so much so that the superior race theory over time became a 'lethal interpretation of history' resulting in millions of death worldwide.
Not unlike other African nations, the Tutsi's long history has been intertwined with migration, intermarriages and ultimate settlement and to have become an integral part of the Bantu Peoples of Africa. They numbered about 2.5 million both in Rwanda and Burundi with some in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Tutsi in the Congo were called Banyarwanda. They live in the Burundi-Congo-Rwanda border area called "Banyarwanda." and were not very different in their social and hierarchical structure, of African Kingdoms at the earlier periods of history. The Tutsis were also governed by a monarch. He was referred to as the Mawami, and the date of such practices go back to the 15th century.
The Belgians, the first to arrive Europeans, were able to destabilize the centralized power structure of the Tutsi thus passing on some of the power to large landowners. In spite of the divide and rule policies of the colonialists, the social relationships between the Tutsi and the Hutu were nominal with intermarriages and inter-relatedness being the norm.
As a part of the scramble for Africa, European Imperialists and Colonialists made their way to Burundi and Rwanda, as was done to the rest of Africa. Noticeable also, however within the Hutu, was the fact of class differences especially by those who considered themselves as aristocrats. However at the upper level the distinctions between the Tutsi and the Hutu were less noticeable, and around 1880 Catholic missionaries entered the Great Lake Regions with the mission to 'convert the natives' to Christianity. This was undertaken with great zeal, and the relationship between Christianizing and imperialism intertwining and interrelating in the interest of mercantilism.