ABWW Heroine of the Day: Thelma Glass, Organizer of Alabama Bus Protests

Thelma Glass

Thelma Glass, the last surviving member of a black women’s group that in 1955 organized a yearlong bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., after the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, died on Tuesday. She was 96.

Ms. Glass, a professor of geography at Alabama State University, was the secretary of the Women’s Political Council, which leapt to action within hours of Ms. Parks’s arrest on Dec. 1, 1955. The women’s group, realizing that three-quarters of the bus riders in Montgomery were black, called on blacks to boycott the buses to put pressure on the city, the state and the bus company to stop forcing them to ride in the back and surrender their seats to white passengers.

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