Interview with Jo Ann Robinson
QUESTION 4
LLEW SMITH:

WHEN YOU LOOK BACK IN HISTORY, IT LOOKS LIKE THE BOYCOTT WAS A SPONTANEOUS ACT PROVOKED BY THE ARREST OF ROSA PARKS. WAS IT?

Jo Ann Robinson:

It was a spontaneous act from those persons who were not members of the Women's Political Council, but we had worked for at least three years getting that thing organized. The night that the—the night of the evening that Rosa Parks was arrested, Fred Gray called me and told me she was arrested, she had somebody going her bail, but her case would be on Monday, and I as President of the main body of the Women's Political Council got on the phone and I called all the officers of the three chapters. I called as many of the men who had supported us as possible and I told them that Rosa Parks had been arrested and she would be tried. They said, you have the plans, put them into operation. I called every person who was in every school and everyplace where we had planned to be at that house, have somebody at that school or wherever it was at a certain time that I would be there with materials for them to disseminate. I didn't go to bed that night. I cut those stencils. I ran off 35,000 copies** of the little foyer that you have. And I distributed them. I had classes from 8:00 to 10:00 at the college. And at 10:00 I had two senior students who had agreed to go with me. I took them in my car. The packages were already there. It would take about a half a minute to drive on the school campus, the kid would be there, in just a minute they would disappear.