Alabama State to honor the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Updated: 12:00 AM CST

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Today’s date: Nov. 4, 2015

ASU's Jo Ann Robinson's MPD booking photo for helping organize the Boycott.

ASU’s Jo Ann Robinson’s MPD booking photo for helping organize the Boycott.

ASU Hosts 60th Anniversary Bus Boycott Events!

– A weeklong schedule of ASU events honoring the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

– A State Historic Marker dedication service on Dec. 1; commemorates 60 years to the day event.

– NPR & WVAS partner Dec. 1 @ Dexter-King Church with a national live-stream Boycott meeting.

– And, much more … see schedule below.

About the 60th anniversary celebration 

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott, Alabama State University is hosting a weeklong schedule of events, beginning on December 1, and continuing through Dec. 7, which commemorates the leaders, women, students, lawyers, music and much more about the Boycott.

ASU was at the heart of many of the events leading up to and surrounding the Bus Boycott. ASU faculty member Jo Ann Robinson and other ASU employees, students, alumni and members of the Women’s Political Council are credited with helping organize the Boycott and making copies of the flyers supporting the Boycott on a mimeograph machine in the basement of ASU’s Councill Hall.

This same group of ASU family members helped to distribute the flyers and spread the word across Montgomery to promote the boycott of city transportation on Dec. 5, 1955  in the wake of the arrest of Rosa Parks.

ASU’s role

ASU alumni or employees who played a major role in the 1955-1956 Boycott include Fred Gray, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, Jo Ann Robinson, Thelma Glass, Mary Fair Burks, Irene West, and many others. Rosa Parks attended high school here.

The goal of all of Alabama State University’s events commemorating the Boycott is to celebrate and educate, said Zillah Fluker, ASU’s vice president of Institutional Advancement.

“This year’s celebration will focus on highlighting the ‘Law’ of the movement, the ‘Machine’ behind the movement, the ‘Women’ who sparked the movement, the ‘Students’ of the movement, the ‘Music’ that drove the movement and the ‘Energy’ of the movement.”

The activities include the dedication of a new State Historic Marker (60 years to the day) on Dec. 1, at 3 p.m. commemorating Rosa Parks bravery and the notable efforts of Jo Ann Robinson, ASU family members and members of the Women’s Political Council in organizing and mimeographing the flyers, which promoted the Bus Boycott. It also honors Fred Gray and E.D. Nixon’s leadership roles in the Boycott.

Also on Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m., ASU’s National Public Radio station – WVAS – is partnering with the nationwide arm of NPR to host a national live-stream conversation as part of NPR’s national touring series “NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There,” at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. And, there is so much more!

The ASU schedule of events is below:

BusBoycott 60th bus image

Tuesday, December 1

The LAW of The Movement

A symposium hosted by civil rights attorney, ASU alumnus and legend Fred Gray and sponsored by the Alabama Bar Association and the Alabama Lawyers Association.
8:30 a.m. – noon | Ralph David Abernathy College of Education Auditorium

Dedication of State Historic Marker: The Machine & Women Behind the Boycott
The dedication of a new State Historic Marker (60 years to the day) on Dec. 1, at 3 p.m. commemorating Rosa Parks bravery and the notable efforts of Jo Ann Robinson, ASU family members and members of the Women’s Political Council in helping organize the Boycott and in mimeographing the flyers, which promoted the Bus Boycott to Montgomery’s black community. It also honors Fred Gray (ASU ’51)  and E.D. Nixon’s leadership roles in the Boycott.

3 p.m. | 915 South Jackson St. in front of William Hooper Councill Hall (the building where the President’s office is located today).
Special Exhibit in the Historic Councill Hall Basement.

The CONVERSATION about The Movement
National Public Radio and Alabama State University’s WVAS NPR station partner to create a live stage conversation as part of the national touring series “NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There.”
6:30 p.m. | Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

The event is free and open to the public; however, an RSVP is required. Reservations can be made online at www.nprpresents.org
Reception to follow at 8 p.m. in the Legacy Center of the church.

Wednesday, December 2 

The WOMAN Who Sparked The Movement
A civil rights bus tour that follows the route that Rosa Parks took during her historic refusal to give up her seat on a city bus.
9 a.m. – noon | Pick up at Dunn-Oliver Acadome every 30 minutes.

Thursday, December 3

The STUDENTS of The Movement
An SGA-sponsored forum focusing on The Movement from a student activist’s point of view.
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | John Garrick Hardy Student Center Ballroom

The ASU Day of Service
2 p.m. | Pick up at Dunn-Oliver Acadome

Sunday, December 6 

The MUSIC That Drove The Movement: Gospel Community Choir Showcase

3 p.m. | Dunn-Oliver Acadome

Monday, December 7 

The ENERGY of The Movement
A re-enactment of the Mass Meetings that energized and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott participants.
6 p.m. | First Baptist Church/North Ripley Street

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104

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