ABSTRACT

At the conclusion of the Montgomery Bus Boycott on December 18, 1956, a boycott that went on continuously for over a year, Martin Luther King took a symbolic ride. He sat next to Glenn Smiley, a white pacifist from Texas who came to Montgomery to assist the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) and helped introduce the black struggle to non-violence. Members of the MIA worked feverishly to prepare blacks for that important fi rst ride. Before boarding the bus, King urged blacks that

we must not go back on the buses and push people around unnecessarily boasting of our rights. We must simply sit where there is a vacant seat . . . This places upon us all a tremendous responsibility of maintaining, in face of what could be some unpleasantness, a calm and loving dignity befi tting good citizens and members of our race.1