Remembering the Tallahassee Bus Boycott

It was 1956 when two female Florida A&M students refused to give up their seats on a public bus, and thus began the Tallahassee bus boycott.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this historical event, distinguished guests and residents came together for a panel discussion.

Stetson Kennedy, a civil rights activist, said, "This struggle against racism and against Jim Crowe is one of the good fights America has been in."

Stetson Kennedy is just one man aiding in that fight. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tallahassee bus boycott, Kennedy traveled to the capital city from his home in Jacksonville.

Kennedy said, "It's very gratifying to think I have a little to do with along with so many tens of thousands of other people black and white, young and old, who took part in the struggles."

And Kennedy isn't alone in his struggles for equality. As part of the weeklong events to celebrate the 50th anniversary, a humanities panel discussion was held at the Tallahassee Museum on Saturday.

Distinguished guests discussed everything from Reverend C.K. Steel to their own personal experiences with racism.

Patricia Stephens Due, a civil rights activist, recalled, "They came in threatening us with guns, bats. That's why some of the students were dragged off to jail."

Dr. Na'im Akbar recalled, "We were not even allowed to walk on the lawn of Florida State University's campus without being run off by the state, the campus police."

Panel members say citizens must remember those struggles today and every day for years to come. There was a Freedom Walk Sunday night beginning at 5 p.m. at the C.K. Steele Bus Depot.


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