Her Work Made The Civil Rights Movement Possible

Jim Crow signs in Durham NC
Leslie Taylor-Grover
August 13, 2020

Jo Ann Robinson was fed up. A white bus driver had verbally attacked her and threatened violence, and the city police had poured acid on her car and threw rocks through her home windows

And that wasn’t even the worst part!

After FINALLY securing a meeting with the mayor to discuss the abysmally racist city bus system, he flat out refused to even consider anything she said!

The time had come to clap back.

Robinson had worked quietly in local Black organizations, but she was ready to apply pressure. Our money kept the city buses running. It was time for a boycott, but she had to be careful.

She planned the entire boycott, down to carpools for Black boycotters who needed rides. She recruited Rosa Parks and MLK, who would both go on to become household names. She launched Civil Rights history – so why did she stay hidden?

Her role as a state employee meant she could financially afford to support the movement. Had she been found out, it may have cost her her job - and lessened her ability to fight for our rights! 

We don’t always need to be a big name to do big work. Whatever our position, we can use it to fight for Black liberation – even if we prefer to stay behind the scenes!

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

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