Most if not all of us have heard about the famous activist Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat to a white American. On December 1st, 1955 Rosa Parks was leaving her job at the department store and decided to take the Montgomery bus home. Rosa got on the bus just like every other passenger entered through the front door of the bus paid her fee walked back out the front door and entered the bus through the back door to where the African Americans could sit. As the bus kept letting on passengers the driver noticed that white Americans were standing which wasn’t right, so he told Rosa and a few others to get up. Rosa refused which led the driver to call the police, who took Rosa to jail. This was just the beginning to stop segregation, but most importantly Rosa was the main leader who created the end to segregation by influencing the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
On December 5th, was Rosa’s trail in court and the African Americans showed their support by staying home from school, and work especially by not riding any of the buses. This created the Bus Boycott that lasted 381 days. Since the bus drivers were not nearly making as much money now that only white Americans were riding the buses it put a huge dent in the companies who were trying to make money. Eventually African Americans would stop shopping in certain parts of town hurting businesses. A little over a year later, on December 20th, 1956 is when the Montgomery Bus Boycott ended meaning the segregation law was lifted off public buses.
Civil disobedience has happened a lot throughout history for the greater good, but this is probably the most common case we learn about. Civil Disobedience can go way back to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when the British created the Tea Act. The colonists decided that they were sick of being under British Rein, so they took the tea from the British ships and dumped it into the harbor. This lead to the boycott of tea and later the American Revolution, and the American War of Independence.
Another form of civil disobedience was during August of 1963 when another activist that we all know Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington with his “I Have A Dream Speech.” This was also part of African Americans earning their civil rights. Over 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial and marched about the unfairness and unequal rights African Americans were still experiencing, this led to more civil right movements that finally ended in the year of 1968. This was the year when African Americans finally started to feel like they had a voice in what was happening in the world.
Times in history have proven that it is acceptable to use civil disobedience to break the law for the greater good for all people. It’s not like when the African Americans were protesting they were being violent, they were peacefully protesting to change the laws to receive equal rights. Time and time again African Americans were beaten, threatened, houses stoned, churches burned, etc., just for protesting and they were not violent in return. It is okay to break the law to create change as long as it is for the greater good of all people, and no matter what to some degree people are going to think that it is not for the greater good. I cannot imagine being an African American who is told that cannot go to school somewhere, use the same water fountain, or bathroom as an Caucasian American. This was all because of racial segregation these people are built the same way as us and breathe the same air as we do, they should not have been seen as lesser value than Caucasian Americans. Civil disobedience can be used to break laws to create a greater good for everyone.