A lot of what you're told about protests, MLK, etc. is wrong.
Not really, tho.
That wasn't really MLK's thing.
MLK used TWO phrases to describe his work more than any other:
1. "Direct action."
2. "Civil Disobedience."
It was a DIRECT ACTION against the rule, not a symbolic gesture.
AND it was only PART of a strategy that included NAACP attorney Fred Gray filing the lawsuit Browder v. Gayle to stop segregation on city buses.
See, the untold story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott is that it didn't stop segregation on Montgomery buses
Well, the city stopped bus services. And when it resumed, guess what happened?
Rosa parks had to leave the city.
And black people started sitting on the back of the buses just to be safe. Black people didn't really sit anywhere on city buses until the 70s
That black people in Ala. tried to march for voting rights but Alabama state troopers attacked. Then they marched again, and congress passed the VOting Rights Act.
But that's not really what happened.
See, black ppl all over Ala. were attacked when they tried to register to vote. So local organizers would get large groups of people to march to their respective courthouses.
They weren't protesting. They were GOING TO REGISTER. And they figured: "If we're in a group, they can't beat us all."
But y'all know white people. They will definitely try their best. I think they call it "American exceptionalism."
But here's the part about the Selma to Montgomery marches most people are never told:
It was NOT nonviolent.
So what did MLK do?
He turned the whole march around.
That's where James Forman came in.
He wore overalls.
Forman often disagreed with MLK because he figured:
"You don't even go here!"
They were never gonna get their voting rights unless they fought back.
So on the THIRD march, Forman and his folks had bricks, sticks and dress cans of whip-ass for the cops.
They made it across.
It wasn't nonviolence It was, in part the prospect of violence that passed the VRA
But before I begin, I wanna tell you about one of the craziest stories in the entire civil rights movement
Her parents told the police.
The police arrested the boys for rape.
They were 7 & 9 years old.
The town also had a large NAACP chapter. And the reason why, was important.
So Robert F Williams decided to do something about it.
He built an army.
We often talk about the Deacons for Defense and the Panthers but the Black Armed Guard was perhaps the most influential of these groups.
But it wasn't just sandbags.
Not only did the Klan never fuck with the NAACP in Monroe again, but the city passed an ordinance that required the Klan to get a permit every time they wanted to meet.
The city and the state have still never apologized.
The couple were grateful
He wrote the book "Negroes With Guns" that influenced the Panthers.
Williams died in 1996.
There were a lot of people who eulogized him at his funeral. And a lot of info came out.
He had protected the Freedom RIders
He had protected the Kissing Case Boys.
ANd there was a woman from Ala. who said that he was the one who made her feel safe.
And he lived up to her promise.
ANd that's why she was able to be brave.
You know what?
There's probably someone who can explain int better than me.
Like Robert F Williams