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The 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott

02 Mar 2012

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:
History, Society and culture

Who started the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott? Who was in charge?

Level: Secondary

A good place to begin is Wikipedia, which will give you a quick overview of events and people involved with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. But you need to be aware that this information is contributed by lots of different people. If you are using this site, it always pays to check the information against that on other sites or in books from the library.

From Wikipedia we learn that Rosa Parks was involved in beginning the bus boycott and that Martin Luther King Jr was involved with a lot of the organisation. Now for additional and more reliable information we can look for other websites about the boycott and about these two people.

The Martin Luther King Jr Research and Education Institute is a reliable source because it comes from an educational website. You can tell this from the .edu in the website address. Type the keywords 'Montgomery Bus Boycott' into the search bar at the top and look through the search results. The second result is the best because it is an encyclopedia entry and gives a really good overview, including links for further reading and information about a lot of other people who were involved. One of the best links that we found here is to a page about the Montgomery Improvement Association which was set up in 1955.

You can also search the Martin Luther King Jr Research and Education Institute for information about Rosa Parks. If you type her name into the search box you will get a number of search results, and the best one to start with is the first one, another encyclopedia entry. This will give you a good overview of her life and involvement with the boycott. On this page there is also an excellent link to the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, another association that played an important part in the civil rights movement.

We did a Google search using the keywords 'Montgomery Bus Boycott' and found this website about the Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This website contains lots of different information about the boycott. You can start by watching an introductory video, then explore the biographies section for people who were involved, a timeline of events as they happened, and look at lots of historical newspapers from the time.

HOT TIP: The EPIC databases will also have a lot of great information on this topic. To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to AnyQuestions.co.nz between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online.

Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Once you are logged in, search World History in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context and Biography in Context. Use the keywords 'Montgomery Bus Boycott' for the first two databases, and search for individuals by name on Biography in Context.

HOT TIP: Check out our ManyAnswers entry on Martin Luther King Jr.

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