The success of the civil rights struggle can be attributed to the pressure and urgency that small community demonstrations enforced on the federal government. It was a collaborative effort amongst all civil rights supporters to make enough commotion and upheaval in order for their cause to be known on a national level. They gave the community a reason to come together and rally for their equal rights. Their demonstrations and political battles followed the same patterns as the grassroots organization. They were characterized by long-term and short-term triggers, ordinary people who were willing to sacrifice things to see change, and their determination. The civil rights movement took flight after the Supreme Court decision in Brown versus Board of Education in 1954 that announced it was unconstitutional for Black and White students to be in separate public schools. Although the Black community had won integration that gave their Black students a better facility and learning environment, it suffered a loss of Black perspective that would have been taught in their Black schools. Now, the Black students would be subjected to material and learning curriculums for White students. How would they be depicted in history if the only perspective that the schools cared about was the White perspective? However, the price seemed small compared to the opportunity it gave to the next generation of Black students who would be able to learn in facilities and with curriculums equal to that of their White counterparts. It gave them more of an opportunity to achieve higher education. This was the first major win for the Black community. It gave them hope that things could be changed for the better. However, i n order for the federal government to take them seriously, the Black communi ty would have to cater their demonstrations to the White community. They strategically chose people who were light skinned, employed and educated. It gave the White community an individual who they could relate to and empathize with. In other words, they chose Black individuals who were up to standards with White people. These individuals were used as figureheads; they became the posterchildren of the Civil Rights movement.
Rosa Parks, often called the "first lady of the civil rights", became a figurehead in 1955 when Parks refused to obey the bus driver\'s orders to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger after the white section of the bus ha d become full. She was a middle aged Black woman who was married, educated and worked as teacher. During the civil rights movement, Black teachers were highly respected. They were the highest standing occupation a Black person could hope to achieve . Despite being depicted as one of the figureheads of the civil rights movement, Parks was not the first person, nor woman, to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. Claudette Colvin was arrested on March 2 nd , 1955 for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama. Although Colvin was taken to the US Supreme Court, Montgomery\'s Black leaders chose not to publicize her efforts due her public image. Colvin was a pregnant teenager who had had relations with a married man. She w as described as a rebellious teenager , which earned her a bad reputation . Although both members of the NAACP, u nlike Colvin, Park was seen as mate rnal, well- mannered and had light skin . She had more in common with the folks in which the Black community were trying to appeal to. In other words, she was up to the "White standard" due to her husband, occupation and character. She gave the civil rights movement its\' first reason to rally.
Shortly after Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus on December 1 st , 1955, the Black community quickly came together under the leadership of 26-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. to form the Montgomery Improvement Association. This was King\'s first involvement that catapulted him into the National spotlight. The MIA organized a one- day bus boycott for December 5 th , 1955. Due to the success of the boycott, it was decided that they would continue the boycott until the city could meet a standard list of demands. These demands included, courteous