After I was in jail I had the opportunity to call home and speak to my mother. I was thinking mostly about how inconvenienced I was stopping me from going home and doing my work something I had not expected. I didn't feel good about going to jail, but I was willing to go to let it be known that under this type of segregation, black people had endured too much for too long.
The first thing she asked me was if they had attacked me, beat me. I said no, that I hadn't been hurt, but I was in jail. When I did realize, I faced it, and it was quite a challenge to be arrested. I didn't feel very good about being told to stand up and not have a seat. That was why I told the driver I was not going to stand. I did it because I wanted this particular driver to know that we were being treated unfairly as individuals and as a people.
At the time I was arrested I didn't know how the community would react.
I was glad that they did take the action that they did by staying off the bus.
I was willing to walk rather than go back to the buses under those unfair conditions. No, actually I had no fear at that particular time.
Very shortly after the boycott began, I was dismissed from my job as a seamstress at a department store. I don't know why I was dismissed from the job, but I think it was because I was arrested. Durr's wife insisted on going too, because she and I were good friends. I was very determined to let it be known how it felt to be treated in that manner discriminated against. Well, I knew I was going to jail when the driver said he was going to have me arrested.In our Pathways to Freedom Institute and our Institute for Self Development, we take young people on trips and give them opportunities to meet many civil rights leaders. Our second grade classes learned about you from the Scholastic Web site and by reading some biographies as part of our "People Who Make a Difference" unit in social studies.We teach them to be good citizens and do what they can do to help other people as they become successful themselves. Students then wrote statements telling how they felt about you, and some of their comments are posted below.The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. The first school I attended was a small building that went from first to sixth grade. There could be anywhere from 50 to 60 students of all different ages. He evicted me before, because I would not go around to the back door after I was already onto the bus.The evening that I boarded the bus, and noticed that he was the same driver, I decided to get on anyway.We were fortunate enough to have a carpool organized to pick people up and give them rides.Of course, many people walked and sometimes I did too.She gave the phone to my husband and he said he would be there shortly and would get me out of jail. Nixon, one of the leaders of the NAACP, had heard about my being arrested from a friend of mine. The people at the jail wouldn't tell him I was there. Nixon got in touch with a white lawyer named Clifford Durr. Durr called the jail, and they told him that I was there. I was glad that the type of treatment legally enforced segregation on the buses was over..come to an end. However, when I knew the boycott was over, and that we didn't have to be mistreated on the bus anymore, that was a much better feeling than I had when we were being mistreated. I recovered from the attack and went on with what I have to do. Usually, if I have to face something, I do so no matter what the consequences might be. I did not feel that giving up would be a way to become a free person. By standing up to something we still don't always affect change right away.There was a man who had come to my house who knew I had been arrested. I always encourage children to stay in school, get good grades, and to believe in themselves. Even when we are brave and have courage, change still doesn't come about for a long time. My grandmother was ill and I had to stop school to look after her.I did not sit at the very front of the bus; I took a seat with a man who was next to the window -- the first seat that was allowed for "colored" people to sit in.We were not disturbed until we reached the third stop after I boarded the bus. Two policemen got on the bus in a couple of minutes. But the law is the law and you are under arrest." As soon as he said that I stood up, the three of us left the bus together.