Montgomery Bus Boycott

On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a  Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her act of nonviolent resistance sparked a boycott of public buses in that city that lasted for 381 days. On June 4, 1956, a federal ruling,  Browder v. Gayle, declared that Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses were unconstitutional. After the state appealed the decision, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court where on November 13, 1956 the ruling was upheld, leading to a city ordinance authorizing black bus passengers to sit anywhere they chose. The boycott officially ended December 20, 1956. Find out more more about this important milestone in Civil Rights, as well as the history of dissent in United States history with some of the following titles from the Library's collection.

From the American Revolution through the Civil Rights movement, Americans have long mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. Hierarchies based on inheritance, wealth, and political preferment were treated as obnoxious and a threat to democracy. But over the last half-century that political will and cultural imagination have vanished. Steve Fraser's account of national transformation brilliantly examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts to protect the democratic commonwealth, and the great surrender to today's delusional fables of freedom and the politics of fear.

The author shows that there are ten classic steps would-be dictators always take when they wish to close down an open society, and shows how each of those ten steps is underway in the United States today. In this citizen call to action, reminiscent of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, Wolf outlines the real threats to our civil liberties and explains how we can work together to save our liberty and defend our nation.

Historian, activist, and author Howard Zinn loves his country. This does not mean he refrains from reproaching it for its crimes; such reproach is one of the spurs to it doing better one day soon. To that end, Zinn became an academic. However, as the child of poor, working-class parents, Zinn has also been a blue-collar dock worker and labor organizer, a decorated WW2 bombardier, an adviser to the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and leader of the peace movement at Boston University in the 1960s.  This film finds him returning to the role of anti-war activist in post 9/11 America, asserting the value of nonviolent civil disobedience, and the need for ''people's movements'' to effect social change.

Personal accounts from American soldiers who opposed the Vietnam war.