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The Untold Story of Lucille Times, Organizer of the 1st Montgomery Bus Boycott

lucille times holding a photo displaying a her at a young age

On Monday, August 16, 2021, Lucille Times, a Montgomery civil rights activist, passed away at the age of 100.

Lucille Times began a Montgomery Bus Boycott six months before the documented Montgomery Bus Boycott we know of today. However, her efforts were overshadowed nationally by the arrest of Rosa Parks

On June 15, 1955, Lucille Times was driving to the dry cleaners when James F. Blake, the Montgomery bus driver that demanded Rosa Parks to give up her seat, attempted to run her off the road into a ditch three times. 

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During the “A Conservation with Lucille Times” at the Rosa Parks Museum, Times recalled this encounter with Blake as a “verbal confrontation that soon grew physical”. This encounter prompted her to start her own bus boycott, where she transported Black passengers waiting at bus stops throughout the city. 

On December 1, 1955, Parks got arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus operated by Blake. Her actions this day made her synonymous with the civil rights struggle and the Montgomery Bus Boycott we know of today. 

Times may not have been known by the masses, but she was known as a civil rights legend in Montgomery. She was heavily involved in her local community. Her and her husband owned the Times Café, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his colleagues planned the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They were also members of the NAACP and they participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March

Lucille Times standing in front of the Alabama Historical Commission sign outside of her home. (Photo/ Creative Commons)

Recently, Times was honored for her civil rights efforts locally. In 2007, her house was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. In 2017, she won the Unsung Hero Award in Montgomery.

You can read more about Lucille Times, here.

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Check out: Bobby Seale & The History of the Black Panther Party

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