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The Women Behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott

NPR

The Montgomery bus boycott lasted from December of 1955 through December of 1956. What people often remember of that moment in history is that when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, it sparked a bus boycott that was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But what that retelling leaves out are all the women who organized for years to make that boycott a reality and who helped sustain it for 13 long months.

Here you can can meet the women who's voices you hear in the podcast, see their faces and read their stories. Together, these women created a turning point in American history.



Original music was composed by Wendel Patrick, this episode was engineered by Gilly Moon. contributed to this story

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Karen Grigsby Bates
Karen Grigsby Bates is the Senior Correspondent for Code Switch, a podcast that reports on race and ethnicity. A veteran NPR reporter, Bates covered race for the network for several years before becoming a founding member of the Code Switch team. She is especially interested in stories about the hidden history of race in America—and in the intersection of race and culture. She oversees much of Code Switch's coverage of books by and about people of color, as well as issues of race in the publishing industry. Bates is the co-author of a best-selling etiquette book (Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times) and two mystery novels; she is also a contributor to several anthologies of essays. She lives in Los Angeles and reports from NPR West.
LA Johnson
LA Johnson is an art director and illustrator at NPR. She joined in 2014 and has a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.
Barrett Golding
Courtney Stein
Courtney Stein is a senior editor at Code Switch. She came to NPR from The New York Times, where she was a senior producer that helped create the weekly podcast First Person. Prior to that, she spent over a decade at the Peabody award-winning WNYC's Radio Rookies, teaching young people to report radio documentaries about issues important to them. While at WNYC, Stein also helped to pilot the podcast Nancy and was on the team that created the duPont-Columbia Award-winning podcast Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice, which began as a radio workshop she started in a juvenile detention center in Queens.
Diba Mohtasham
Jess Kung
Jess Kung (they/them) is a production assistant on Code Switch. Previously, they interned with Code Switch and the podcast The Document from KCRW in Santa Monica. They are a graduate of Long Beach State University.