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  • Jo Ann Robinson was born on April 17, 1912, in Culloden, Georgia. After earning a master's degree, she moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to teach at Alabama State College. After a verbally abusive encounter on a segregated city bus, Robinson became an advocate for equal rights for African Americans. She led a successful city bus boycott that gained national attention and the support of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 3/16/2018         Akron, OH
  • Montgomery Alabama, 1940's
  • Why is a negro sitting in the front? Get up!
  • I'm not doing anything wrong
  • You need to be in the black, you're colored not white
  • I'm scared he is going to beat me
  • Montgomery Alamba, 1940s
  • 3/16/2018     Akron, OH
  • Robinson experienced the prejudices underlying racial segregation firsthand in the late 1940s when she was screamed at for sitting in the empty white section of a city bus; the driver pulled over to yell at her and Robinson fled the bus, fearing that he would hit her. Disgusted by the incident, she began to mobilize against the segregated city bus system.
  • 3/18/2018         Akron, OH
  • Following the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, Robinson distributed a flyer that she'd written urging for Montgomery's African Americans to boycott city buses on December 5 of that year. With the help of John Cannon, chairman of Alabama State's business department at the time, and two students, Robinson distributed more than 50,000 flyers overnight calling for the boycott.
  • For her role as a leader of the boycott, Robinson was arrested and targeted with violence; police officers threw a rock into her window and poured acid on her car. The harassment became so bad that state police were requested to guard her home. The boycott continued until June 5, 1956, when a federal district court declared segregating seating unconstitutional. The boycott also established Dr. King as a figure of national prominence and ushered in an era of nonviolent civil rights protests
  • 3/18/2018                Akron, OH
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