They Organized The Strike That Changed This Country Forever

picture of mary burks
Cydney Smith
December 17, 2021

The Women's Political Council (WPC) was founded by Alabama State College professor Mary Fair Burks after she was unjustly arrested. Despite initially being a small group of 40 Black women in Montgomery, Alabama, they hit the streets hard – and did incredible work.

For example, they taught local Black people their constitutional rights, stimulated voter registration, worked to reform bus segregation, and provided leadership opportunities for women. The group quickly grew to 300 women, all of whom were registered to vote, and actively used that right!

On December 5, 1955, after Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white man, the WPC executed a bus strike, leaving buses nearly empty.

Religious leaders and their congregations came together in support of what would become the Montgomery Bus Boycott – which led to the rise of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr!

Leading boycotts from behind the scenes and performing the grueling grunt work of the movement, these Black women were the unacknowledged heroes of civil rights, showcasing their importance in the fight for racial justice. 

But the work of Black women shouldn’t have to STAY unacknowledged.

Black women have always been at the forefront of Black progress. We shouldn’t continue history’s mistake of rendering such a huge part of our community invisible. Give them their flowers while they’re alive!


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