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.
Your people don't belong in the front
Montgomery Alabama 1940
Please don't call the police please, they will beat me
Whites in the front, colored in the back
All I did was sit in the front
Whites are in the front not negros!
December 1, 1955, Montgomery Alabama
Robinson distributed a flyer that she'd written urging for Montgomery's African Americans to boycott city buses on December 5 of that year.
The boycott of the public buses in Mongomery went well, "colored" didn't ride making it hard for the buses to make money. Lasting from December 1955-June 1956
When Robinson became president of the WPC in 1950, she focused the organization's efforts on desegregating buses. Working with attorney Fred Gray as her adviser, she met with then mayor of Montgomery William A. Gayle. The city's leadership was not interested in integrating buses, however, so Robinson conceptualized a boycott.