Baton Rouge Bus Boycott

(June 18–24, 1953)

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Jemison, Revered T. J. - Photograph - Baton Rouge Bus Boycott King, Martin Luther - Photograph - Baton Rouge Bus Boycott

Rev. T.J. Jemison (left) shakes hands with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Jemison's leadership during the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott served as a model for King's spearheading of the more publicized Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955. View »

Baton Rouge Bus Boycott - Photograph - Baton Rouge Bus Stop

In 1953, African Americans made up 70 percent of the Baton Rouge Bus Company's business, but like everywhere else in the Jim Crow South, black riders were restricted to the "colored" section of buses and were often forced to stand over vacant seats. View »

Baton Rouge Bus Boycott - Photograph - Community Organized Free Ride

During the 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge, the African American community organized free carpools, enabling protestors to go about their daily business while simultaneously showing they would no longer accept second-class citizenship. View »

Baton Rouge Bus Boycott - Photograph - Boycott Drop Off

The Baton Rouge bus boycott forced the white-owned bus company to compromise with black passengers; however, the civil rights protest fell short of complete desegregation. View »

Baton Rouge Bus Boycott - Photograph - The Free Ride System

Black commuters assembled at pickup points for free rides during the five-day Baton Rouge bus boycott of 1953. Horatio Thompson, the first African American in the South to own an Esso gasoline station franchise, sold gas at cost to carpool drivers. View »

Baton Rouge Bus Boycott - Photograph - Boycott Pick Up Point

The improvised carpool that provided free rides during the Baton Rouge bus boycott of 1953 was so successful that after four days, the white manager of the city bus system said the company would be bankrupted if African American passengers did not return soon. View »

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