Interview with Coretta Scott King
QUESTION 4
INTERVIEWER:

NOW, BEFORE WE GET TO THE ACTUAL BOYCOTT, MAYBE YOU COULD JUST BRIEFLY DESCRIBE FOR US THE SYSTEM OF SEGREGATION ON THE BUSES. I THINK IT'S HARD FOR CHILDREN TODAY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED ON A SEGREGATED BUS.

Coretta Scott King:

Well, in Montgomery the buses were set up so that there was a separation between blacks and whites, and there was a section for white people up front and a section for blacks from that point back, but it, it was something that was moveable. If there were no whites boarding the buses, then the sign for blacks could be moved forward. But if most of the space was taken by whites, then it would move backward, and if it happened to be that there were no seats left, then black people would have to stand. Or, if they decide to leave a certain section for whites, then they would have to stand over those empty seats. And it was on that day that Mrs. Parks saw empty seats in the white section and there were none in the black section that she sat down. And when she sat down, that was when she was arrested.