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Unlikely World of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

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The Unlikely World of the Montgomery Bus Boycott: Solidarity Across Alabama, the United Kingdom, and South Africa

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Format: Trade Paper, 122 pages
Pub Date: 08/03/2021
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-58838-452-2
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In The Unlikely World of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Cole Manley analyzes the global influences and impact of the boycott of 19551956. Manley moves beyond the borders of Alabama, and even beyond the United States, to interrogate how Black Montgomery boycotters thought about their movement in relationship to global freedom struggles, from the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa to the anti-color bar battles in the United Kingdom.

With each day the boycott continued, news of the movement traveled farther, reaching White pacifists in New York, Black internationalists in London, and, not long thereafter, anti-apartheid leaders in South Africa. Black Montgomery citizens, such as Jo Ann Robinson, recognized that their boycott was connected to, and in conversation with, freedom movements around the world.

The Unlikely World of the Montgomery Bus Boycott calls for a new reading of the United States civil rights movement, one which can encompass the expansive thinking and radical dreams of leaders like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robinson. The Montgomery boycott was much more than a battle over fair bus seating. Due in part to the global thinking of its organizers, the boycott remains a paradigmatic case of how social movements can resonate around the world. It is an example of the power of protest and solidarity which continues to inspire present-day struggles for racial and economic justice.