a statute enacted by a city government
It also didn’t matter that the city bus law—or
ordinance, as city laws are called—had said since 1900 that no rider had to give up a seat unless another was available.
a specific practice of long standing
After the sheet music sold widely, Jim Crow became a standard character in minstrel shows and then evolved into a term to represent the whole system of laws and
customs that segregated black and white Americans.
Compare with the word from this list, "tradition."
a social system with separate facilities for minority groups
Together, the whole system of racial
segregation was known as “Jim Crow.”
a grouping of a number of similar things
They gathered in
clusters at the corners, chatting and teasing and cramming for tests, until the green and gold buses chugged into view and the doors snapped open.
cause to feel shame
But everything about riding a bus was
humiliating for black passengers.
a specific practice of long standing
But Montgomery had its own rules and
Compare with the word from this list, "custom."
physically and mentally fatigued
Day after day
weary black passengers remained standing over empty seats in front.
ensure observance of laws and rules
Every driver understood from the day he was hired that his main job, other than driving the bus, was to
enforce the Jim Crow rules.
change from one system to another or to a new plan or policy
In 1886, Montgomery became the first city in the Western Hemisphere to
convert a street railway system to electricity.
enter a defendant's answer
pleaded guilty and paid fines.
greatly annoyed; out of patience
exasperated driver radioed police, who were waiting at the next stop to arrest them.
a public disturbance
The most shocking
incident of all happened in 1952, when a man named Hilliard Brooks boarded a City Lines bus, dropped a dime in the fare box, and headed down the aisle toward the back.
the killing of a human being by another human being
The coroner ruled his death justifiable
homicide, justifiable because the officer said Brooks had been resisting arrest.
overcome by superior force
The white judges, the intimidating police, the insulting drivers, and the crushing weight of all the years of custom and law were simply
give encouragement to
The ruling allowed black students to anticipate a different future and
emboldened a few of them to try to make it happen.
be in control
The biggest mystery of all was how the white man came to
an address of a religious nature
First there’d be regular church, then a program, then a glee club competition, then another
sermon, then different choirs would sing.
refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization
We didn’t get a TV until the bus
boycott, but our radio ran off a battery that gave us about an hour at a time of a white station, WSFA.
characterized by dishonor
They said it in such a
degrading way; they never said “please” or asked if we minded.
a group of people who habitually attend a given church
It shriveled the leg of one girl in our
congregation and deformed the arm of a little boy.
strive to equal or match, especially by imitating
Middle-class black girls would always try to separate themselves from dark-skinned girls like me and
emulate white girls.
pronounce a punishment on in a court of law
After a brief trial, an all-white jury
sentenced Reeves to death in the electric chair.
a partiality preventing objective consideration of an issue
That was when I and a lot of other students really started thinking about
prejudice and racism.
This word and the other vocabulary word, "racism", are often used interchangeably, but they come from different root definitions. This one has more to do with judging from earlier thoughts or misconceptions.
discriminatory or abusive behavior towards another people
That was when I and a lot of other students really started thinking about prejudice and
This word and the other vocabulary word, "prejudice", are often used interchangeably, but they come from different root definitions. This one derives from the word, "race", and is undeniably linked to this social problem.
formally reject or disavow
By then, Reeves had
retracted his confession, insisting he had been forced by police to make it.
a solemn statement made under oath
But after two days’
testimony, the new jury—again entirely white—took only thirty-four minutes to restore Reeves’s death sentence.
grant freedom to; free from confinement
I was going be like Harriet Tubman and go North to
liberate my people.
an event marking an important historical change of course
The children involved in the
landmark civil rights lawsuit Brown v. Board of Education, which challenged segregation in public schools, in Topeka, Kansas, 1953.
an allegation that something denies some legal right
I was done talking about “good hair” and “good skin” but not addressing our
a correctional institution for those convicted of crimes
They kept telling me I was going to Atmore, the women’s