2000
1000

Mary Louise Smith Ware: Another Rosa Parks Story and fore-runner to the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott

Mary Louise Smith Ware was a civil rights protester who refused to give up her seat in the "whites only" section of the city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This happened before the Rosa Parks incident. She was only 18 at the time.

On October 21, 1955, Smith was returning home on the city line when she was ordered to give up her seat to a white female passenger, which she refused to do. he was arrested and jailed, being charged with failure to obey segregation orders. This happened about 40 days before Rosa Parks was arrested on similar charges. Her father paid the nine dollars bail and the incident went unnoticed except for family and neighbors.

Her arrest was later made known by a cousin during a mass meeting. Attorney Fred Gray asked Smith and her father to become plaintiffs in a civil rights class action suit to end segregated seating on city buses.

She would learn 40 years later from a news reporter that her incident had been discussed as a test case by Nubian leaders. However, though they found nothing negative about her, had father was accused to be an alcoholic. To this day, that allegation bothers her more than the exclusion and the ignoring of her contributions to the Montgomery boycott and national Nubian leaders.