Boycott (2001) Movie Script

[bus tires hissing,
door closing] [applause] Martin: There comes a time
when time itself is ready for a change. all: Yes. Martin: And that time has come
in Montgomery. ["Sweet Home Alabama"] [upbeat rock music] all: Ooh, hoo, hoo man: Big wheels
keep on turnin' Carry me home
to see my kin Singin' songs
about the Southland I miss ole 'Bamy once again And I think it's a sin,
yes children: Keep the faith man: We got
to keep the faith Keep the faith We're gonna keep the faith Keep the faith Keep the faith,
kee-kee-kee-keep Yeah In Birmingham,
they love the governor all: Whoo, hoo, hoo man: Now we all did
what we could do Now Watergate
does not bother me Does your conscience
bother you? Now, tell the truth all: Sweet home Alabama Where the skies
are always blue Sweet home Alabama Sweet home - I got the right
to sit here! Leave me alone!
Leave me alone! all: Alabama [tense music] [dramatic music] [yelling] man: Gonna need that seat. Need that seat. Go on, move back
to the colored section. Move. - No. [all talking at once] I am sitting
in no man's land. It's not white.
It's not colored. Anybody can sit here. - By my discretion,
and I am telling you to move. I got to enforce
the segregation laws. [echoing] It's my duty. A white person
wants this seat. woman: [echoing]
She's the one. [tense music] - You go on. You do what you got to do. [dramatic percussive music] people: [echoing]
She's the one. She's the one.
She's the one. [Nat King Cole's
"Walkin' My Baby Back Home"] [relaxed jazz music] - Come on, baby. Nat King Cole:
Gee, it's great After bein' out late Walkin' my baby back home Arm in arm
over meadow and farm Walkin' my baby back home We go 'long
harmonizing a song Or I'm recitin'
a poem Owls go by,
and they give me the eye Walkin' my baby back home We stop for a while She gives me a smile And snuggles her head
on my chest [baby crying] We start in to pet And that's when I get Her talcum
all over my vest After I kinda
straighten my tie She has to borrow my comb - Mr. Parks,
we have a real chance here to challenge
the bus segregation law. - Your wife is smart.
She's educated. - You and Mrs. Parks are so
well-respected in the community. woman: Why, she's been
the secretary of the Montgomery NAACP
for the past ten years. - She'd be most impressive
to a white jury. - We've been down
this road before, and Rosa is
the perfect plaintiff. - Raymond, you have struggled
with us all these years. Now here's a chance
for some good to finally come of it all. - Ain't no good gonna come
out of this situation. Now, you mark my words. - Please excuse us,
just for a moment. Please excuse us. Raymond, I'm asking you
to support me. - You're asking, or is your mind made up? - Both things. - If they ever find out
we using state property... - I know.
- To run off these leaflets... - We will both be fired. This is our best opportunity
to start a boycott, and we're gonna do it. - You discussed this
with Mr. Nixon? - Well,
not in as many words. - Then we don't even know
for sure if there is gonna be
a bus boycott on Monday. - Oh, now,
there will be a boycott. You can count on that. - Coretta, honey, give me
that baby so you can eat. - Are you sure,
Juanita? - See, the problem is,
brother, you've been working
a little too hard. - Come here, you're so precious.
Abernathy: It's a sermon. It's not some
doctoral dissertation. [chuckles] Let me demonstrate this
for you. What you do, you get up
in front of the pulpit, you get a nice look around,
see all the people, fill your lungs
with a whole mess of air, turn yourself heavenward and--
and let that Spirit fill you, and then...
[hums] [laughter]
- Wow, wow. - And whatever come flyin' out,
that's what you say! - No, no, no,
not at my church, not at Dexter Baptist. Folks over there
don't go in for a whole lot of hootin' and hollerin'. - Mm-mm, folks at Dexter Baptist
are kind of fancy. Now, at Ralph's church-- - They're downright noisy and rude sometimes. You can't get through
half of your sermon without them causing a ruckus. - That fellow who shines shoes
over at the barbershop is a member of your church,
I think, Ralph. He said, uh, "Reverend King,
you just should've heard "Reverend Abernathy last Sunday. "He just preached
his you-know-what off. He--he was just--oh,
just amazing out there." I said, "Well, what did
Reverend Abernathy say?" And he said, "I don't
recall what he said, but, brother, we laughed." [laughter] Nixon:
What about the ministers? - Oh, Brother Ed,
you know our ministers. They're well-fed,
comfortable men with good shoes. Ain't one of them
ever even been on a bus. Boycott, sir. - We got two days
to tell every Negro in Montgomery to stay
off of the buses. One of them's a Sunday. I don't see how we can do that
without the ministers. - Well--
hey, hey, young man. Now, take this home here. Nobody rides the buses Monday. Got that?
- Bus boycott on Monday. We can't succeed unless
we have their support. [phone ringing] - Hello, E.D. Well, that's very interesting. Boycotts work, Coretta. It worked in Baton Rouge, and Rosa Parks' trial
is on Monday. People want to call
attention to it. - Now, why are they having
the meeting at your church? - E.D. asked. He thought it'd be
neutral ground. - Neutral ground? - And we have
a nicer meeting room. - Martin,
you're a new pastor and a new father. And we agreed
that you wouldn't take on too many
responsibilities. - But as a pastor,
this is part of what I do. It's just a meeting. - Uh-huh. - Where were we?
Where were we? We were talking about-- - I thought we came here
to talk about boycotts. [all talking at once] - We only have two days
to get everyone-- - So what I think we ought to-- I'd like to make
a motion, all right? [gavel pounds]
- Ah. The motion is denied. - I didn't make the motion yet.
- Well, you were fixin' to. man: See, that's what happen.
- All right. - Welcome to Montgomery,
brother. - I'd like to make
a motion that we elect ourselves a board. Get our--
- Denied. - But, now, Reverend,
I mean, point of order here. Banyon: Denied.
- Oh, come on, now. - Sister Robinson,
I know how to run a boycott. - He sure does. He's about to start one
right now. Folks gonna boycott
the boycott. man: I have a question. How are folks
supposed to get to work? man: Oh, good Lord, this is
no time for questions, man. This is a time for action. man: Well, that's--
that's a legitimate question. That's a legitimate question. - I just want to say, we gonna
need a leader eventually, and since I have the largest
congregation here... - We're not ready
for nothing like that. [all talking at once] man: That's why I say
I nominate my church... - I'd like to leave too,
brother, but it's my church. - Brothers and sisters,
brother--can--can we simplify-- brothers and sisters,
please, can I get your attention
for a minute? [people shushing,
man speaks indistinctly] Now, look,
can we just simply agree for a one-day boycott
of the buses? Just one day just to see
what happens, okay? [dog barking] - Martin. Martin, here it comes. - It's empty. - It's empty. man: Comin' for
to carry me home - It's empty,
not a soul. - Good morning,
Reverend King, Mrs. King! - Good morning. - A very good morning. - Good day for walkin'. Martin: Yes, yes. Sweetheart, you might want to go on inside
and get dressed. man: Going home,
going home Comin' for to carry me home man: Comin' for
to carry me [man scatting] [percussive music] - They gave me this and said Negroes are supposed
to stay off the bus. [bus engine revving] - "If you work, "take a cab or walk, "but please,
children and grown-ups, don't get on a bus at all
on Monday." Dizzy Gillespie: Swing low,
sweet Cadillac Comin' for to carry me home Swing low,
sweet Cadillac Comin' for to carry me home I looked over Jordan,
and what did I see? Comin' for to carry me home Oh, an El Dorado
comin' after me Comin' for to carry me home [upbeat jazz music] - What?
- We got a ambush. - Quiet.
We got an ambush going. [all yelling] - Based on the evidence
presented here this morning, I find you, Rosa Parks,
guilty of violating the state segregation statute, and I hereby fine you $10, plus $4 court cost. Gray: Your Honor, Mrs. Parks
will refuse to pay the fine and hereby notices her appeal. judge: Very well. I'm setting her appeal bond
at $100. Pay the clerk. [gavel pounds] - Folks just gonna have
to get smart and join the Klan. [overlapping conversations] man: Order! [gavel pounds]
Order. Order! Now, there's
a motion on the floor to suspend the boycott. [all talking at once] - Now, now, it's too soon
to quit, now. It's too soon to quit. Huh, now, we just
getting started. - That's right.
- That's right. - Now, I tell you
what we need to do. We need to have a little bit
more faith in our people and ourselves. - That's right. Banyon: Order! Order! [all talking at once,
people clapping] - We--
[gavel pounds] Now, now,
we talkin' about whether or not
to end the boycott. Now, that's putting the cart
before the horse. What we need to be talkin' about
is electing us a leader to represent us;
then we can go on... - He's had his eyes
on that seat for a while. - You think? - Somebody to negotiate
with the city and present our demands. - I like him, though.
- Mm. - Old union man. - Christ, Lewis,
I don't care. I got something to say! - You don't have the floor.
- Now... - Rufus Lewis,
he's a-- what you might say
a man of the classes. - Now, you ministers
have been living off these washwomen
for the last 100 years and ain't done nothing
for 'em. - These are men
of the masses. Nixon: Let's tell the truth. Let's tell the truth.
Let's tell the truth! It's our women
who've been carrying the torch. It's our women
who've been getting arrested while y'all hide behind
their skirts like a bunch of damn cowards! Martin: Brother Nixon,
Brother Nixon, Brother Nixon. Brother Nixon, uh, I'm not
a coward, and I don't want anybody calling me a coward,
but I agree with you. Uh, the time has come
to stop hiding. Now, uh, Mrs. Parks
didn't hide this morning before that judge,
and we should act openly. Now, as for the question
of whether or not to suspend the boycott,
well, it seems to me that ought to be left up
to the folks who attend that meeting tonight. After all, they're the ones who
gonna be doing that walking. [all talking at once] - While I respect
Mr. Nixon's years of service to the struggle,
I feel we need a minister
to unite our entire community. I think he ought to be,
uh, a young man, a strong man. 'Cause we know this job is gonna take
a lot of energy. man: Amen, that's right. - Therefore,
I nominate, as president of the Montgomery
Improvement Association, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. [people murmuring
unintelligibly] May I have a second
on my nomination? [people murmuring
unintelligibly] - Yeah, I second
that nomination. Lewis: Why, thank you,
Reverend Abernathy. [light piano music] Abernathy: You ain't see
that one comin', did you? Martin: No, Ralph,
not at all. - You the perfect choice. You been in Montgomery,
what, a year? That ain't nearly long enough
to make any real enemies. - So you don't think they think
I'm the best man for the job? - No, of course they do. 'Cause you fail, ain't they ass
in the ringer, is it? It's yours. Who are you, anyway? Just some young hotshot preacher
from Atlanta with a big old
divinity degree from some fancy
Northern university. You're just an outsider,
brother, with a powerful daddy. They'll send you home and be
back to business as usual. - You think so, huh?
- Uh-huh. - Well, thank you, Ralph. - You're very welcome. You worried
about leading this thing? - No. I'm worried about
telling this woman. - And what did you say? - I said yes. - You said yes? - I said yes. I didn't ask for it. Uh, I just made a few remarks to clarify a situation, and before I knew it... - You were trying to bite off
a little piece, and you wound up
with the whole pie. - That's more or less
what happened. - Let's have dinner. Martin: No. No time. I have to give this
speech in an hour, and you know it usually takes me
two days for my sermons. Mm, now I've only got--
good Lord. - You'll think of something. You always do. [clock ticking] [dramatic music] [clock ticking] - Now, brothers and sisters,
today I want you to put on the whole armor
of God. The whole armor of God! all: Yes! [train whistle blowing] - Against the wrong
done against you. all: Yes!
Abernathy: This is Dr. King. He's president of the Montgomery
Improvement Association. This is Dr. King, yeah. [unintelligible chatter] man: Let him through here.
Let him through. Let him through here. - Dr. King, this is the day
we have waited for. It's now all up to you. - That hold us in high places. all: Yes!
man: That's right. - And now I introduce to you
the president of the newly founded Montgomery
Improvement Association, Reverend King. [applause] - Uh, good evening. all: Good evening. - First, I would like
to thank, uh, Brother Fields for sharing his pulpit
this evening, and I'd like to thank you all
for coming out. You didn't have to do that. But, uh,
I know you know that we are here this evening
for serious business. [people murmur agreement] We are here in a general sense because, first and foremost, we're American citizens. And we are determined
to apply our citizenship to the fullness
of its meaning. all: Right. - But we're here
in a specific sense because of the bus situation
in Montgomery. all: Right. Yes. - Now, just the other day,
one of the finest citizens in Montgomery-- not one of the finest
Negro citizens, but one of the finest citizens
in Montgomery-- was taken from a bus
and carried to jail and arrested because she refused to get up
and give her seat to a white person. all: Right. Yes. - And, you know, my friends,
there comes a time when people get tired
of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression. all: Yes.
[applause] - There comes a time,
my friends, when people get tired
of being thrown across the abyss of humiliation, where they experience
the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time
when people get tired of being pushed out
of the glittering sunlight of life's July
and left standing amidst the piercing chill
of an alpine November. We're here--we're here
because we're tired now. all: Yes. - And we're not wrong
in what we're doing. [people murmuring
unintelligibly] If we are wrong,
the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. [cheers and applause] If we are wrong,
the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong,
God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong,
Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer
and never came down to Earth. [unintelligible chatter,
applause] If we are wrong,
justice is a lie. And we are determined
to work together here in Montgomery,
to work and to fight until justice
rolls down like water and righteousness
like a mighty stream! [cheers and applause] - Ain't nothing wrong
with wanting what's right. People around here been
wanting what's right all along. - I have here a resolution drafted by attorney Fred Gray for your consideration. And it reads, "Be it resolved that the members "of the Montgomery
Improvement Association "will continue the boycott "indefinitely until such time as a fair
and just agreement is reached." Now, all those in favor,
please signify by standing up. God be praised. - Our Negroes did not
stay off the buses by choice. We have proof that Negro
goon squads are intimidating coloreds that would otherwise
go right on ridin'. I intend to make sure that law
and order are maintained, and coloreds that want
to go on riding our buses will not be constrained
by outside agitators or unlawful elements. man: Said hey, little lady,
maybe, baby, maybe, baby You can come out tonight
woman: Ba-bow man: I said hey, little lady,
maybe, baby, maybe, baby It could be so right
woman: Ba-ba, boo-dah-bow - Come on now, come on.
Martin: Denied! [laughter] - We--we--we got people
out here who've been-- who've been walking
for three days, and we can't even
get ourselves together to make up a list of demands. - Look, now,
we should ask for the deal they got down in Mobile. There's a precedent for it. - First come,
first serve seating. - The city council would have
to give us that at least. Write this down now. Negroes from back to front, white folks
from front to back. - Plus courtesy and respect
for the Negro passengers from the drivers. Nixon: When hell freeze over. Pardon me, reverends.
- Can we agree? - Now, we need to add
that we want Negro bus drivers to service Negro routes. - Robinson, they're never
gonna agree to that. - Well, we can ask.
There's no harm in asking. - If we can't agree
amongst ourselves, we gonna waste this opportunity. - They have Negro bus drivers
in other cities. - Miss Robinson,
you know this is Montgomery, and they are never gonna
grant us that demand. - Maybe that's why
we should ask for it then. - So they can reject it. - Reverend King. - Look, now,
we've emptied their buses for three days. Not a single Negro
has broken the boycott. So they know they have
to accept some changes, but now, at the same time...
[phone rings] They have to save face. So we offer them
an unreasonable provision so they can reject it. - It's not unreasonable. - It is to them,
understand? - It's just, we have to be
willing to give up something. - Give up something? We hardly ask them for anything
in the first place. - It's a foothold until we can
appeal Mrs. Parks' conviction. - Martin. Martin: Excuse me. - Could you please
not do that? - Oh, Fred, come on.
- Please. Nixon: Oh, Fred... - Don't ever call
this house again. [melancholy music] - Who was that? - Nobody. - Well, what did he say? - Nothing I care to repeat. They're just words, Coretta. I've heard them before,
and so have you. - Martin,
this isn't Atlanta. This is Montgomery. And you do not take those words
lightly around here. - This will all
be over soon. The mayor convened
a special meeting tomorrow with the city council. He'll compromise. They have to. man: Let me respond
to your demand. Part one,
first come, first serve seating. Now, we at the Montgomery
city line are subject to the law of the state
of Alabama, which, as we all know, requires
segregation of the races. Gray: Look. Uh, if I may? The Alabama segregation
statute states, "City authorities
may require segregation," not "must." - Point two, courtesy
and respect from the drivers. Now, as far as we know,
our drivers are hard-working,
courteous. - Drivers are abusive. They physically throw
Negro women off of the buses for sitting
in an empty white section. - That is gossip. - I've seen it
with my own eyes. The buses stop at every corner
in the white neighborhoods and every other corner
in the colored neighborhoods. - Well, I won't say there
isn't room for improvement. Point three,
hiring Negro drivers. We won't tell the bus company
who to hire, and we certainly won't stand for first come,
first serve system. - They've done it in Mobile. man: Even if we wanted to,
we can't. Uh, that would require
the abolition of segregation. - Which is a law. Is that what you're asking for? - And other cities
throughout the South? - You're not answering
our question, Mr. King. Are you and your people
calling for the abolition of the segregation laws? - No, what we're arguing for
is a more humane system. [phones ringing]
- I've got something to say. Uh, most of y'all know
most of my life I've been fighting
to kill Jim Crow, whether it's through the union
or the NAACP, and I'ma tell you one thing: the NAACP will never support
what we doing down here. - I do not agree. - Reverend King, the NAACP will
never support an organization that's only asking for
a more humane system, never! - Now, obviously,
I have a great deal of respect for the NAACP,
but this is the Montgomery
Improvement Association, and the Montgomery
Improvement Association has done more in four days
for Negroes in this city than the NAACP
has done in ten years. Now, I don't mean
to be harsh in this, E.D., but, uh, we need to move
beyond this now. This is a--
this is a... We share the same goals. We have the same aspirations. We just have different ways
of going about it. That's all. - The chicken's almost ready. - There's a minimum fare
ordinance. Taxis must charge
a minimum of 45. - That's bullshit! How am I supposed to see? Peoples can't pay 45
for no taxi. - People can't pay 45
for a taxi. The drivers were
charging a dime, same as the buses. - Which is why they want
to raise the minimum fare. - But if the drivers charge
less than 45, they liable to lose their
license and they livelihood. - I hope this don't make
Miss King jealous, Reverend. [both giggle] - People aren't gonna
give up their cars. - Yes, they will. - They're too important
to 'em. - It worked in Baton Rouge. The taxis there weren't allowed
to lower their fares either. Carpools kept the boycott alive. - That's all well and good, but ain't too many car owners
in my flock. - Well, I tell you what,
Ralph. You keep 'em walking,
I'll get us some cars. - Now, I'm hearing stories,
inspiring stories. We have Mother Pollard here, 70-year-old woman, walking to and fro to work and back home 12 miles
every day with a cane, unbent. [cheers and applause] Now, I feel an unstoppable
conviction right now. And I know you feel it too. So we gon' keep on walking.
all: Yes! - We gon' keep on walking. We'll walk to work
every morning, and we'll walk back home
every night. We'll wear a groove
in the footpath of our cities. Wear a groove in the pavement until they see the depths
of our conviction. We are not walking.
We are marching. Martin: "And he said unto them,
'Which of you shall "'have a friend and shall go
unto him at midnight "'and say unto him,
"Friend, lend me three loaves, "'"for a friend of mine
in his journey has come to me, and I have nothing
to set before him."'" [people murmuring
unintelligibly] Many in this congregation
are very fortunate in their material possessions. Material things
can be very nice. Many of us have fancy cars,
Cadillac cars, and that's all right. But now God is calling on us
to use these things to a greater purpose than simply
to drive along the highway on a Sunday afternoon
or cruise through the city at ten miles an hour
to impress the neighbors. man: Mm, mm-hmm.
all: Right. - We on the committee
have decided on a system to ease our burden. Morning, Mr. Sands. His car broke down. [laughter] We're asking you, if you have
a car, to share it. We're not asking
for any outside help in this. We gonna do this ourselves. And we are going to pool
our monies from all the churches to share the costs
of maintaining the automobile and the cost of gasoline
and such. And here's the--
here's the good news now. We gonna take up
a second collection today. man: Amen. [applause] - And I'll tell you
something else. If a couple of farmhands
get mud on his precious upholstery,
old Dr. Johnson's gonna have a heart attack
on the spot. - Now, you be careful, there. - You really think that people
will just give up their cars? - Well,
I've been told I have certain powers
of persuasion. [gentle piano music] - Who told you that? - My beautiful wife. [slow dramatic music] It didn't last in Baton Rouge. - What? - Boycott. Carpool ended in two weeks. [dramatic electric guitar
flourish] Lewis: We're guessing
the bus company losing about 30,000 Negro fares every day. We subtract some
for the folks who walk. Some just stay home. It's about 20,000 people, 20,000 rides a day,
that's what we need. Now, with the number of cars
we have volunteered, that works out to be
about 130 rides a day, every single car. - Every car? - [chuckles] - Every car. All right. All you riding out
near Madison Street, you gonna ride
with Dr. Johnson here. Come on, get in. Everybody go in here nicely,
please. - Now, now, you all
be careful, please. - Let's go.
Everybody, everybody get in. - Please. - Dr. Johnson,
you still co-ride, sir? We sure appreciate what you're
doing for the cause, sir. Franklin: Get ready For the revolution Come on, come on, come on Ow
women: Oh, oh, oh Oh, oh, oh, oh Franklin: Do you want
a revolution? chorus: Whoo, whoo Franklin: Say,
do you want a revolution? chorus: Whoo, whoo
Franklin: Come on women: Whoa-ho-ho-ho Whoa-ho-ho-ho Franklin: Do you want
a revolution? chorus: Whoo, whoo
Franklin: Come on Do you want a revolution?
chorus: Whoo, whoo women: There's gonna be
a brighter day All your troubles
will pass away all: A revolution's coming,
yes, it's coming Coming, revolution's coming,
yes, it's coming Revolution's coming women: Whoa-ho-ho-ho Whoa-ho-ho-ho
Franklin: Listen, listen Do you want a revolution?
chorus: Whoo, whoo Franklin: I say,
do you want a revolution? chorus: Whoo, whoo Martin: No, sir.
It's taken us all by surprise. I--I will bear that in mind. Yes, sir. Good night. [clock ticking] That was Mr. Milton. Coretta: From the Dexter board? - Yeah. Reminding me that I'm still
the pastor of a church. - And did he also remind you
that the last pastor was fired for his radical views? - Not in so many words. But it was very much implied. - You found five? God bless you. - Now, you got to be there
at 6:00 p.m. sharp, now. 6:00 p.m. sharp. [all talking at once] - Oh, Lord. Okay. All right.
I'll get back to you. Got some trouble
at the Day Street lot. Vandals done
slashed some tires. [dog barking, bottle clinks] - They asked us to watch over
these here vehicles after some of the tires
got slashed. Said we could even sleep in 'em
if we want to, long as that don't
happen to them. We got to do our part too,
you understand? - And then you raised
the taxi fares by 45. - Cars been vandalized
all over town. - Sorry I'm late. - Who is this? - Uh, Luther Ingalls,
secretary of White Citizens. - Is that who I think it is? - Guess he left his robe
at home. - Uh, Mr. Mayor,
we were not informed that, uh, Mr. Ingalls
was a member of your committee. - I don't think it's our job
to inform you, Mr. King. - Well, what is our purpose
if certain members have come
with preconceived ideas? - Reverend King,
I came here prepared to vote in favor
of Negro bus drivers. I resent very deeply
your statement that we as white people have come here
with certain preconceived ideas. I most certainly did not. man: Nor did I. - Well, I apologize
to those of you who have come with more open minds,
but I would also like to state for the record
that we of the MIA strongly protest the presence
of the White Citizens' Council at this meeting. - You're here representing
the Negroes. No difference me
representing my people. - Don't compare
our two organizations. - Why not? - The White Citizens' Council
is openly racist. - That is your opinion,
Reverend King. Now, I suggest you exercise
the same tolerance for a different opinion. - I don't think it's
a question of my tolerance. - Well, it seems you've got
a real problem with other people expressing
their opinions, don't you, Mr. King? This man, this man here
speaks for you all? - All right, let me
make one thing very clear. Let there be no mistake
that Reverend King is the voice of every Negro
in this room, but he's also the voice
of 50,000 Negroes in Montgomery. [church bell tolls] - I walked right into that. - Amen. - Now, see, they think
they're slick. They're not negotiating
on good faith, and they think we foolish enough
not to know the difference. - Brother, this is a siege. This is a battle to see
who's gonna give in first. They just wore you down. - I guess you're right. - Soon as you concede
even one point to the Negroes, you--you open the floodgates. They're like children, W.A. You got to be firm with 'em. - We're doing the right thing
just waiting 'em out. - Well, boycott'll
be over today. Negroes will never
keep on walking. They do not have
the stomach for it. - You can smell that rain. - Ain't a cloud in the sky. all: If it's gonna rain Let it rain [relaxed gospel music] Martin: Good evening. In the year 1619,
the first Negro slaves landed in ships on the shores
of this nation. Nearly 400 years later,
the Negro in America still is not free. woman: Yeah, that's right. Robinson: No, Miss Stone
and her daughters have been waiting
for 45 minutes. You need to send
a car over there to Jackson Street right now. - I can't guarantee your car
won't get a little bit muddy. [unintelligible] - All right.
- Well, it is raining. Well, we will clean
your car for you. But we need it right now. Martin: Yet the substance
of America is expressed
in the sublime words, "We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men..." - Everybody.
We need everyone we can get. So we can count on you, then? Thank you.
Thank you so much. - Hey, baby. [phone ringing] Yes? No, the boycott's
not suspended. Just a little rain. - A little rain?
It's a typhoon. - Yeah.
All right. Where you going? - Well,
we need drivers. [thunder rumbling faintly] [light instrumental music] [engine revving] [man scatting] man: Yo, come on
men: Ah man: Yo, come on
men: Ah [phone ringing] - It held, in spite of the rain. - Jesus. Lewis: Numbers about the same
as yesterday. Nobody's riding the buses. The boycott held. [phone ringing] [crickets chirping] - Hello? Martin? Hello? Who is this? [tense music] [panting] man: It is time
for the white community to stop providing taxi service
to their Negro maids and cooks. They're only prolonging
the boycott. - The only reason they're
helping is so they don't have to do they own laundry. - If you really want to hit 'em
where they live, make the cooks and the maids
go on strike. - Martin, phone call. man: Think that they can force
the white people in this community
to submit to their... - Thank you, Rufus.
- Mm-hmm. - Hello? Hello,
hello, Mr. Rowan. Oh, of course.
I admire your work. - They think that it's funny
that whites who oppose the boycott
will act as chauffeurs to the very Negroes
that are boycotting. Martin: Uh-huh. Well, uh, no, that's, uh-- that's a false rumor. No, I'm quite sure. That's definitely a lie. No member of the MIA
met with the city. Thank you. That was Carl Rowan. Lead story in tomorrow's paper
says the boycott's over. - Wait, wait,
who said that? man: No, no, no! - Well, according to the story,
uh, some ministers from the Montgomery
Improvement Association came to terms
with the city council. - People read something
like that, it could break the boycott. - Well, they can't just say
it's over. - Well, they called it
a negotiated settlement. - Negotiated by who? We got us a Judas
in our midst. [all talking at once] - We got 30-some-odd hours
to get the word out before the first bus
Monday morning. - Everybody don't go
to church on Sunday. [bluesy music] All right,
watch yourself. - Now, how do you know
about these places? - You hear things,
word gets out, you know? - Hey, Rev,
where you at, man? - Hey, Bubba. [laughter,
unintelligible chatter] woman: Oh, oh, ooh You're gonna cry and cry [cheers and applause]
Yeah, yeah - Everybody, please remember
to stay off the buses, okay? - Hey, Rev, you want to shoot
some stick? - [chuckles] - So I'll see you in church
tomorrow, right, boy? - Damn,
you some shooter, Rev. - Y'all gonna play again? - Nah, that's all right. I think my best pool shooting
days' behind me, but I appreciate you
taking it easy on me. - Wasn't going easy on you. Guess maybe you had
some divine help. - Maybe so. [bluesy music] I think by the time
some of these folks leave out of here tonight,
the boycott may be over. - On a blind man - And Lord have mercy
on me Oh woman: Lord, have mercy
on a blind man man: Jesus,
you're the only one That can make me See [music fading] - It's time for church. - That King fella,
he's a--he's a troublemaker, if you want my opinion. - Don't believe what you read and only half of what you hear. - Who you think it was? - Well, I'm afraid
somebody from our board is talking to the city
behind our back. - You're kidding me. We got our Judas. - We didn't know. We were summoned
by the mayor. They said it was
an insurance matter. - Well, so then you never
volunteered a settlement on behalf of the MIA? - No, sir. They made like it was something
that already been settled, asked us to sign it. - Well, Reverend,
it's vital you make the truth public. - I think it would be
to your best interest to do so. - Yes, sir. I could see
how that would be. - Well, all right.
Good evening, now. - Good evening. - You take care.
God bless. - Yes, sir. - Now, if we expose this story,
we're calling the most powerful men
in Montgomery liars. - If the shoe fits,
wear it. - But you know these white folks
won't see it that way. Bad enough they cut a deal
with a bunch of Negroes, then the whole thing
falls through anyway. - That's not our problem. - No, it is our problem. Makes them look weak. In order to look strong now,
they got to strike back. [slow piano music] - Negroes can get where they're
going from the back of the bus. - Sam here sits up front
with me all the time. Am I lying, Sam? - The White Citizens' Council just got three
brand-new members. Imagine that. - Imagine that. - We believed
we had an agreement, but the Negro leaders
have betrayed us. man: The Negro radicals
think that they can force the white people
in this community to submit to their demands. - E.D., ain't no preachers
in here. man: They don't really care
about a better bus service for their people. What they are after
is the destruction of our social fabric,
our way of life. - And we will. - We'll show them crackers. [man speaking unintelligibly] - You are not gonna
believe this. Ten traffic tickets, seven of them for speeding. man: Let 'em walk
till the end of time. - Miss Robinson likes
to get where she going. - These three here
are for going too slow, and that's just
in the last two days. They are ticketing everybody
who's riding the boycotts. And believe me,
they're not cheap. - Mm-mm.
[phone ringing] man: And let them know
in Washington, D.C., that we got something
going on down here. man: Now, this can only
end badly for all of us. This goes to the heart
of our... - MIA? Yes.
[phone ringing] Oh, yes,
you can sign up for a ride. man: Women, our children...
[ringing continues] - Well, just leave us your name,
and I'll let you know about it. Just--will somebody please
pick up the other phone? - Hello? - We're asking you
to pay the fine yourself. - Not at this time. We can't. Well, we're figuring out
a system to reimburse people. - These tickets are gonna send
their insurance premiums through the roof as a provision in the law
that allows a state to take action against drivers
who are deemed to be hazardous. And too many traffic tickets
and, uh... - They gonna confiscate cars. - They could confiscate
their cars. [upbeat music] - Tell all my friends that
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was my own personal driver. [laughter] - You tell 'em, sister.
woman: Mm-hmm. [laughter] - Be careful now. - Oh, I see 'em. [percussive music] [siren wails] - Oh, shit. [gasps softly]
Uh, pardon me, Reverend. - That's quite all right,
sister. I share your sentiment. Can I help you, Officer? - Step out of the car.
Just him. Martin King. - I've done something wrong? - You were doin'
30 miles an hour in a 25 mile speed zone. - Then write me a ticket. - Shut up.
Get up against the car. - He didn't do anything! - What are you doing?
- I'm arresting you. You get back in the car! Give me your hands. - Oh, I hope
he don't hurt him. - Look,
take me with you. He didn't do anything! - You back away! Step away from my car! - Find Coretta. Find my wife and let her know
what happened. both: Yes, Reverend. [dramatic music] [camera shutter clicks] Martin: You see,
within the belly of that first slave ship,
you didn't have to worry about whether or not you were
sitting in the proper section. You didn't have to worry
about getting up to give your seat
to a white person. You were loaded
into the belly of that ship on a first come,
first to serve basis. And then a Negro who dared
to reject the circumstances under which he suffered,
well, that Negro was a problem. [pensive music] - They took him out of his car, and he didn't do nothing wrong! Martin:
This your first time, hmm? Never been here before? Well, no, never before. You see that hook there? Where? Mm. You know what that's for. Mm. 40 days, 40 days. [whispers] 40 days,
40 days. And he went up,
and he looked over. But, see, you have not yielded
to the possibility of the inevitable. That's not for you. That's not for you yet. - This is a property bond. - Only way to make
bail's with cash. - This is an accepted form
of bail payment throughout the entire state
of Alabama, sir. - Not this time of night. - Well, this is
an acceptable way-- - Take a look at this. men: The blood won't atone If we don't bring these
issues to the light Feel like going on Trials in your life
come to make you strong So hold your head up,
stick your chest out Ain't no doubt
about this here God's gonna bring you out In the morning, he gon'
wipe all those tears away Make it through the night,
there's a brighter day Got to know that you never
gon' be left alone God's gon' deal with these
issues if you hold on - Reverend Martin,
this is Harry Phillips. - Evening, Brother Phillips. - Evening, Reverend King. - He's gonna be your driver. - What do I need
with a chauffeur? - Look, we can't have you
driving anymore. It just ain't worth the risk. - Well, let's go on home. [pensive blues music] Coretta: Happy birthday
to you Happy birthday,
dear Daddy Happy birthday to you [phone ringing] - Yes? [somber music] [phone ringing] Yes? Do not threaten my family. [bottle thuds] [sniffles] Lord... I'm here taking a stand
for what I believe is right. But now I'm afraid. People are looking at me for leadership. But I'm at the end
of my power. If we are wrong... I don't think
I can do it anymore. If we are wrong,
Jesus of Nazareth... Help me, Lord. Was merely a utopian dreamer
and never came down to Earth. Help. If we are wrong,
justice is a lie. And we are determined
to work here in Montgomery, to work and to fight
until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness
like a mighty stream, and when the history books
are written, somebody will have to say,
"There lived a race of people, "a black people, fleecy locks
and black complexion, "who had the moral courage
to stand up for their rights, "and thereby they injected
a new meaning into the veins of history
and civilization." And we are going to do that
here in Montgomery. God grant that we will do it
before it's too late. [woman vocalizing] - I have today instructed
the police department to break up congregations
of Negroes that are loitering
in white residential districts. man: The Bible's
very clear about the separation of the races. man: Animals in the woods
don't mix. The fish in the rivers
don't mix. man: I don't care
what the Bible says or what the Bible doesn't say. man: This will only lead to
a mongrelization of the races. man: Furthermore,
many, uh, local businessmen have promised me they're
gonna lay off Negro workers who are being used
by outside agitators from the NAACP
as instruments in this boycott. - Ain't no good
gonna come out of this. People getting all riled up. - Well, I'm sorry it happened. But we still urgently
need your car. No, you're not expected
to pay for it. We have a fund that covers it. Just send your repair bill
to our treasurer, Mr. E.D. Nixon. - Repair bill?
Fine. How much money you got in your
pocketbook, Miss Robinson? [laughter] - Reverend.
- Hmm? - How long has that police car
been sitting out there? - I don't know.
Long enough, I suppose. Tell me something. Is your landlord
a white man? - Listen, everybody. We moving out of here
right now. - What? - Grab everything
that you can carry. Get everything out of here. - What's going on,
Reverend Abernathy? - The police are out there,
and if they evict us, they get to keep
everything in here. [tense music] - They've got no reason. - They will find a reason. They always find reasons. man: Where we moving to? Abernathy: Anywhere, as long
as it's owned by a Negro. - Go, go, go, go! - Let's go, come on.
Hurry, hurry, hurry. - Good day, officers. - It's supporting
an illegal boycott. - What do you expect me to do? She has a limp,
poor thing. She's lame.
She can't walk to work. - Well, what she does
is her problem. Now, every time I see you
driving her, I'm gonna give you a ticket. - My white lady always
be asking me about the boycott, but I don't tell her nothing. Better she don't know. But I will tell you this-- - Joanna,
we have things to do. - Yes. - The city isn't offering
anything more than the same old segregation
with increased bus fares. Now, we've walked for months, and I say we keep on walking
until our city fathers give us what we're asking for. [dog barking] - The latest proposal by
the city now is just ludicrous. - I agree with E.D.
I agree with E.D. [all talking at once] - Ladies and gentlemen,
now, we've been at this for 56 days now. And I think the boycott
has succeeded beyond our wildest--
- Succeeded? [all talking at once] - I do believe it is time
for us to be reasonable. - Reasonable for what?
- What is reasonable? - Now, let Reverend Banyon
finish his point, please! - Now, let me tell you
what is reasonable. If they give us two
out of three of our demands, I think we ought to take that. - We'd be at the same place
as we were before. [all talking at once] - Hold on, now.
Hold on, now. Look, it seems to me
that were we tonight to tell the people
that it's time for them to get back on the buses,
we would be ostracized, completely laughed at. - Yes, yes.
- Exactly right. - Look, they have had
the courage to continue walking. We should have the courage
to hold the line. - Hold the line. - Continue, continue, continue,
continue, continue. - Here we are trying
to lead a movement we can't ever seem
to catch up to. Is there some way we can bypass
the state courts? - Mm... Not in Rosa's case,
but we could file a separate suit
at the federal level and go after segregation
on a constitutional ground. - Hmm. - We've been waiting
for an opportunity like that. The success of the boycott
might just give us the leverage we need
to pull it off. - If we go federal,
we gonna bring down a lot more heat on ourselves,
a whole lot. - Mm-hmm.
You can't deny that. If we're asking the federal
court to overrule segregation, we gonna need some
additional plaintiffs to strengthen our case, and certain folks gonna have
to put themselves at risk. [child laughing] - So Attorney Gray
is drafting a lawsuit demanding that the city
segregation laws be declared null and void. - On the grounds that it
violates the 14th Amendment. - And which one
was that, brother? - The right to equal protection
under the law. Martin: The suit will be filed
this afternoon. - Are you saying we going to
the Supreme Court or something? Martin: No, no, no.
- Reverend King-- - Federal court?
- No, it's a separate matter. - Now, you gonna sabotage
our negotiations with the city. - The city already sabotaged
the negotiations themselves by not being willing
to negotiate. I mean, they didn't come
to the table in good faith. - Now, that's a declaration
of war. You gonna give them reason
to kill us. - Well, look, Reverend Banyon,
from the beginning, the only thing we have asked for
is a modified system of segregation, and they already
want to kill us. So it seems to me they leave us
with two choices. Either we give in,
or we just go in over their heads
and rid ourselves of segregation altogether. Fields: Reverend King,
you walking out on a very dangerous limb, and you asking us
to go with you. - At this point,
our only plaintiffs are women. However, we would like
to include some of our men as part of the lawsuit,
and at least one minister. A minister has great symbolic
value in the community. Now, the Reverends
King and Abernathy wouldn't be good choices
because they are too much in the limelight. - My--my grievances
are not personal. - That's right. They're on behalf
of my parishioners. man: I agree with that.
I agree with that. - Will not one of you volunteer? Uh, we gonna have
to make this work with the plaintiffs we have. If we keep the boycott running,
the court's gonna have a hard time avoiding us. - Let's hope. - The Negroes are trying
to make this a federal case, but we're not gonna
let that happen. We don't want
Washington politicians telling us
how to run our business and how to live our lives. We have rights too. This boycott is illegal. Now, the Negroes can either
accept our final offer or suffer the consequences. - You see, in the belly
of those slave ships, it didn't matter
whether you sat in the right section or not. You see, you didn't have
to worry about getting up to give your seat
to a white person. You were loaded into the belly
of that slave ship on a first come,
first to serve basis. all: Yeah.
[applause] - And any Negro who dared
question the circumstance under which he suffered, well,
now that Negro was a problem. woman: You may be
an ambassador To England or France You might like to gamble You might like to dance You may be
the heavyweight Champion of the world You may be a socialite With a long string
of pearls But you gonna serve
somebody chorus: Serve somebody woman: I want you to know
you gonna serve somebody - There comes a time
when time itself is ready for a change. all: Yes. - And that time has come
in Montgomery. women: But you gotta
serve somebody Our opponents--
and I hate to think of our government officers
as opponents, but that's what they are... all: Yes. Yeah. - They have tried all sorts
of things to break us. But we still hold steadfast, resolute. And still,
we don't advocate violence. We don't have to. all: Yes. - The Lord is with us.
all: Yes. - And we are a chain. We are linked together
indivisible. I cannot be what I ought to be unless you are
what you ought to be. all: Amen. Right. - We are a chain. [applause] - Now, we have good news
in Montgomery right now. [approving murmurs] Now, how do we protect
our feet? We have all kinds of shoes
from all kinds of folks from all over the country. all: Yes.
[applause] - Shoes to replace the shoes
that has been worn down by us walking, shoes to help
keep us all walking. all: Yes.
woman: All right. - But we got
something else also. [unintelligible murmurs] I have here a check from our brothers and sisters
in Mobile, Alabama, for $500.43. [applause] They sent a letter with it, I guess to keep us encouraged. They said,
"Please accept this check "for $500.43 for your cause
and our cause. "We here in Mobile, Alabama,
support your fight. "P.S.: The 43
is to let you know that some more is coming." [organ chords play] [applause] This new "get tough" policy... man: Yeah?
- This ain't gon' stop us. [shouts of agreement] We all know the state
of Alabama's motto. all: Heart of Dixie. - Heart of Dixie, huh? Well, I say let's keep on
walking until Dixie has a heart. [cheers and applause] woman: What a day
of rejoicing it would be What a time,
what a time all: What a time,
what a time woman: One look at Jesus,
and we'll be all: Yes,
time What a time,
what a time woman: I'm gonna
tell 'em all all: Yes,
time woman: What a time all: What a time What a time woman: God's gonna
wipe my tears away What a time What a time all: What a time [glass shatters] Yes,
time - Thank you, Jesus What a time What a time,
what a time Somebody sing it with me all: Doo, doo woman: Yes, Jesus all: Doo-dup, doo woman: Mm-mm-mm woman: Amen. [applause] - Brothers and sisters,
what do we do? all: Fight on. - We fight on. And no matter
what the other side does, it's one thing
that they cannot do, and that is force us
back on them buses. all: Amen. - What is it? - Your house has been bombed,
Martin. - Coretta, Yolanda? - We don't know yet. chorus: Doo, doo [all talking at once] Doo, doo woman: Mm-mm-mm
man: It's all over now. - No, it ain't all over.
It's just started. - We ain't goin' nowhere. - That's right. That's right.
woman: Jesus chorus: Doo, doo woman: Oh, Lord Thank you, Jesus chorus: Doo-dup, doo woman: When all of God's chorus: Children woman: When they get to chorus: Heaven - Reverend King,
I can assure you that this type of activity
will not be tolerated. man: My boys
will look into this. woman: Want to know what
you're gonna do about... [unintelligible chatter] - Coretta? woman: This ain't right. [people speaking
unintelligibly] - You all right? - I'm all right. - Yoki? - She's fine.
She's in the back. We're both fine. - They ain't goin'. [people yelling] We are gonna have
a riot on our hands. - I promise you
a full investigation. We're offering $500
for information leading to the arrest
of the bomber. [all yelling] I understand your concerns, but there's nothing else
to be done. It's time for y'all
to go on back to your home. [all speaking at once] - This is our home. - You go home!
- That's right. You know,
everybody know what we're fighting for
is right. And we're gonna win,
'cause y'all white folk, y'all don't scare us
no longer, and you can't kill
all of us. - Yeah! [all yelling] - I--I want to-- I thank you all
for showing your support. Everybody's all right. If you have weapons,
please take them home. [crowd murmuring unintelligibly] We must not meet violence
with retaliatory violence. We must love our white brothers,
love our-- [crowd murmurs unintelligibly] Love our enemies. This is what we must live by. We must meet their hate
with our love. And God is with us. - Well, show us Coretta. all: Yeah.
- Show us Coretta. [people yelling] - You hit somebody
with that stick, and we all gonna die
out here tonight, Jack. woman: That's right!
That's right! [all yelling] - Hell, I know it ain't right
to attack a man's family. I know they're angry. woman: Let him go!
Let him go! - I got a job to do. - Let's go. All right, I want
that car out of here. woman: We just want to know
if she's all right. woman: That's right.
[all speaking at once] woman: She's all right.
woman: All right. all: Amen. - All right.
Go on home now. woman: What a day
of healing Thank you, Father Nothing but love Joy and peace When all God's children Have mercy, Father When we get to chorus: Heaven woman: Talkin'
'bout a time What a time What a time,
what a time Thank you, Jesus - When do we
get to fight back? Brother King. Brother King,
there are people out there, they want to take matters
into their own hands, fight back,
show 'em we're not afraid. If the whites bring guns,
then we bring guns. - We won't win a battle
with guns. They've got more guns. They'll get tired
of beating us when they see it won't break us. - Damn it, they don't seem
to be getting tired. Seems like they're getting
stronger than ever. Seems--seems they like it. - Brother Phillips,
we won't stoop to their level. We believe in the Bible. - An eye for an eye,
boss. That's in there too. [somber music] - I'm right down the hall
if you need anything. - Thank you, Juanita.
- [whispers] You're welcome. Yolanda: Bye-bye. Hi. [Yolanda cooing] Mommy? [woman vocalizing] [camera shutter clicks] - Martin, I don't pretend
to understand why you've been chosen. I really don't. But you have. And you are the right man. - But that crowd out there,
that... that hatred can't be contained. I'm beginning to question
whether... It just runs too deep. If you or the baby
had been hurt, there would've been bloodshed. I want you to take Yolanda
and leave Montgomery. - Martin... - Go to Atlanta
and stay with my parents... - Martin.
- Until this is resolved. - We are family. - I will not have the blood
of my family on my hand. [melancholy flute music] - Don't let them
intimidate you. - They bombed the house. I think they already have. [hammers tapping] man: I got it. [unintelligible conversations] man: Anybody got a hammer? [unintelligible conversations] - Reverend King. - Hello, Coretta. Looks like you're doing
a little redecorating. - You could call it that. It's good to see you. - Good to see you too
and safe. You've done important
work here, son. There's nobody prouder of what
you've done here than I am. But there's no reason
you can't run this boycott from Atlanta. You push for too much
here in Montgomery, you'll lose everything--
your position, your reputation. - Daddy, I won't leave. - Martin,
they bombed your home. You are in peril. Your family is in peril. This city is set to explode. If you're not careful,
there's gonna be a race war. - I can't walk away. I won't. I've started something here,
and I intend to finish it. - Coretta,
talk some sense into my son. - Baby,
what do you want to do? - I'm staying here. - Then so am I. [dog barking] [dramatic music] [bell dings] - My name is Bayard Rustin,
R-U-S-T-I-N. I believe you have a room
reserved for me. - Uh-huh. Well, put your John Hancock
down there and give me three nights
in advance, and we'll be in business. - Tell me,
how far a walk is it to the home
of Reverend King? - Well, I don't know
what y'all, uh, do up there in, uh, New York City,
but you don't want to be walking alone
down here at night, especially with this, uh,
bus business going on. - And here I thought
all black people walked in Montgomery. [both chuckle] - Not at night.
- Oh... I'll take my chances. [slow blues music] - But who are you? - It's Bayard Rustin. - What are you doing here? Why'd you come all the way
down here from New York City? - It's a business trip. - You here to stir up something
with that Negro boycott? - Well, I do intend
to avoid the buses. - What kind of business
you do at night? - I'm a journalist. I am working
for "Le Figaro" and the "Manchester Guardian." Those are European journals or newspapers. Is there anything else? [dog barking] - What do you want? - I'm here to see Dr. King. - Need to go on home. - My home is a long way
from here, and I don't really care
to return to it at the moment since I just left it
to come to Montgomery to see Dr. King. - Reverend King's
not seeing any visitors. Now go on. - Nelson, who is it? - Nobody, ma'am. Somebody just leaving. He can come back
in the morning. - Good evening, Mrs. King. Bayard Rustin. - Bayard Rustin. - Excuse me. How are you? - I heard you speak
on nonviolence when I was a student
at Antioch College. And I will never forget it,
because you said something about history that
has stayed with me. - Is that so? What did I say? - That history
wasn't an accident, that history is a choice. - And why did that
make such an impression? - Because it means that
we can do something about our lives
and we're not stuck with the way things are. - Wow. So now you're down South. Aren't you a long way
from home? - No, no,
I'm from Marion. That's not too far from here. - Didn't like
our Northern customs, huh? - Actually, I did. Quite a bit. - Well,
if Bayard Rustin is here, then I guess we've arrived. - Excuse me. Dr. King. I wouldn't miss a moment
that's gonna change our country forever. - Yes, yes. So a policeman
says to him, says, "Well, can you describe
these turtles?" And, uh--and the snail says,
"No, sir, I can't. It all happened so fast." [laughter] Well, see,
that's how we feel. Here we are, 77 days
into a 1-day boycott. - You've managed
to sow the seeds of Gandhi in the soil of the South. - Well, it's not just
about Gandhi. It's also about the teachings
of Jesus Christ. - Mass action and black social gospel, it's a new form of protest. I mean, it's--it's--
it's Negro. It's jazz. [chuckles] - Well, whatever it is, it's taken us all by surprise. - Might just take the whole
country by surprise. That's why I'm here. Reverend King,
I'm gonna be blunt. You're straying from
the principles of nonviolence. - In what way? - You're the leader
of a nonviolent movement, and yet you have guns
in your home and these armed guards
outside. - Let me ask you something,
Mr. Rustin. Would you risk your family
for a tactic? - Nonviolence is not a tactic. - Would you risk your family? - Nonviolence is an ideology;
it's a movement. - I have an obligation
to protect my family... - A way of life, a religion.
- And defend my home. - Well, the guns don't make me
feel any safer. - Look, the movement is
in its very early stages. And I hope with all my heart that, uh, it remains
peaceful, but... - Peaceful change is healing. - There is a very definite
possibility of violence. [dramatic music] - [humming] Oh, hey, Reverend.
I didn't know you were-- - After tonight, I want you to find
a safe place to put that. - But, boss... man: School officials
later suspended Autherine Lucy for her own safety
after she and her NAACP escorts were surrounded
by angry white students. Democratic presidential
candidate Adlai Stevenson, speaking to a Negro audience, suggested that
only gradual means would satisfactorily
settle the school's crisis and other problems
affecting equal rights for all Americans. More on that story later. man: And now the weather... - One Negro girl
admitted into a college. That's about as gradual
as you can get, I think. - They forgot the part where
they throw eggs at her. Rustin: Well, now you see. It's not just about
Montgomery anymore. And it's sure as hell not just about seats on the bus. - Bayard Rustin,
ladies and gentlemen. - It happens whenever
an oppressed group finds its voice. The white man...
[chuckles] Some white men are terrified
that if the Negro ever attains power,
he will act without pity to revenge the past. - Damn right. - We have to show them they have nothing to fear. - The bus company's hurting. They're on the verge
of bankruptcy and are now willing
to meet our demands, but the city won't let 'em. - We forgive everything. We have to bring the message
of nonviolent resistance to the rest of the South. Everything we've learned here,
we have to teach the nation. It's your responsibility. - There's also a rumor. The city might bring
indictments. - On what charge? - They dug up some old
Alabama antiboycott law. Lewis: We know the people here. We know they'll walk forever
if they have to. - You have got to stop thinking
about this as just a bus boycott. It's not! And you cannot win this fight unless there are similar
protests all over the South and similar protests
all over the nation. It is in your own
self-interest, your own. - Have you ever run
a bus boycott before? - Not buses, no. - Well, then why are you
lecturing these people? - The same principles
are at work. - What makes you think
they need outside advice? - And who might you be,
sir? - Emory Jackson, editor of "Birmingham World." - Well, welcome, brother. - I just want to talk to you
about your affiliations. - Well... That was a long time ago... Mr. Jackson. [dog barking] [tense music] [gun cocks] [fire crackling] [dramatic music] [woman vocalizing] - You all right, E.D.? - Whoever did this,
I want to hurt. [fire crackling] I want to make
the bastards pay. - I understand that. - Reverend King,
I ain't like you. I am not like you. I am not a nonviolent person
by nature. Now, they've attacked
my home, and I want to strike back! I don't know if I can do this. We march and sing and plot and plan
and so they can blow up our homes. They blowed up your home too. - Y'all just gonna sit there. You see how they be? [somber music] - Brother Nixon, Hebrews 10:39 reads, "But we are not of those
that shrink back "unto destruction, "but of those who have faith
to the preservation of the spirit." I believe that. I'm sorry, E.D. - You know, I got no doubt
that man is a leader. I just don't know
where he's leading us. [all talking at once] Martin: We are Christian. If you must stone them,
stone them with forgiveness. If you must stone them, stone them with love.
man: Amen. - Through these powers,
we will discover to our wayward brothers
the error of their ways. [all shouting agreement] This is and will ever be
a nonviolent movement. woman: Yeah.
woman: All right. Take care, Ed. Folks up at Fisk want me
to come up there and speak. - I'm not surprised. - But I can't just,
uh, leave here and go up to Nashville. - Martin, it's time. You have to get the message out. If we don't go national,
you're going to lose locally. - Now, Coretta, it's another thing entirely for you and Yoki
to stay here alone while I'm in Nashville. - So we go to Atlanta,
and then what? [children giggling] Martin: Many of the Negroes
who joined the protest did not expect it
to last this long. When asked why,
they usually gave one of three answers: "I didn't expect Negroes
to stick to it." "I never thought Negroes
had the nerve." Or, "I thought the pressure
from the white folks would kill it
before it got started." Our nonviolent protest
in Montgomery is demonstrating to the Negro
that many of the stereotypes he has held about himself
and other Negroes are not valid. Something is happening
to the Negro. He's come to feel
that he is somebody. - Got rope, got trees. - These indictments
brought by the grand jury should not come as any surprise. We are committed to segregation, both by custom and by law, and we intend to maintain it and to protect our way of life! - They got arrest warrants
for everybody on the committee, all our organizers,
everyone in this room, 115 of us. It's the largest mass
indictment in Alabama history. - They're trying to chop
the head off the boycott. Abernathy:
So what's our response? Gray: Well, we don't really
have one yet. And Reverend King's
up in Nashville. - How long it's gonna be
till they start arresting us? - Soon as the deputies
get the warrants, so maybe tomorrow? - Probably is,
what I'd expect. - Well, I would prefer not to be
arrested at the college. Don't want my students
seeing that. Abernathy: All right,
I tell you what, brother. You figure out a way
to keep us all out of jail, we'll find a way
to get you some salvation. man: Ha-ha.
- Amen. - Yeah, I'm on my way now. But I'm gonna stop in Atlanta... - Hi, Reverend King. - To, uh, kiss Coretta
and the baby, and then I'll be there
tomorrow afternoon. Mm. Well, that seems to me
that's just a scare tactic, Rev. Yeah, it's the same old thing. Mm-hmm.
Well, you--you do that. You do that.
You keep it together. I'll see you tomorrow,
hear? Abernathy: Make no mistake
about it. The only reason that
they're doing it is to try and separate us
from Martin. That's what this whole thing
is about. - Reverend Abernathy
makes a good point. But there's
a larger issue here. What is a jail? It's just a building. Bricks and steel. That's all it is. You're the ones
who give it power. You've got to lose
your fear of jail. - I just want you
to consider the consequences of returning to Montgomery. The police there
are targeting you. I have that on good account. And you can't lead a boycott
from the inside of jail. - You can't lead a boycott
hiding out in another state either. - Young lady, there is a larger picture
to look at. - Yes, there is,
and I'm surprised that you're not seeing it. I'm leaving tomorrow. - They will arrest you. They're arresting everybody. - What are we supposed to do,
just go--go turn ourselves in? - What happens
to the boycott? - If we turn ourselves in, we're admitting guilt
as if we're criminals. - You got that backwards,
Reverend. It's the criminal who hides. I ain't got nothing to hide. I ain't no criminal. I ain't afraid
of nobody's jail. - You have a wife,
a daughter. You ought to be thinking
about them. - That's exactly who I am
thinking about. - At least tell your wife
to stay here with us. - No, no, I can't do that. I'm-- I need her. [birds chirping] Abernathy: Now, listen, Martin,
this is serious. There's a rumor that
they're about to arrest Bayard Rustin for lying
about who he is. And I got this
from Emory Jackson, who got it from some white guy
over at the paper. - Well, they've been looking
for an outside agitator. - And now they got one. - And, brother,
this could ruin us. They--they--they can turn
the whole movement into some Communist plot. - Some things have come up
that we need to discuss. - I know. - It, uh... You know, I used to think
that the Christian ethic of love was only confined
to individual relationships. - It's what we are. It's what we breathe. - Yes, yes. - We need to be going. - Those things
they say about you... - There's nothing they can say
about me that isn't true. I'm an ex-Communist,
ex-con. I'm a Negro.
I'm a bastard. I'm a homosexual. And I don't have a proper job. I'm a man of my times. But the times don't know it yet. [light instrumental music] It's a gift, Martin,
plain and simple. - What, spiriting you away
in the middle of the night? - No, returning their violence
with nonviolence. You mark my words,
tomorrow, a spotlight will shine
down on Montgomery, one that will galvanize
this country. - You'll be safer in here. They're looking for you still. - Think I'd be better off
in the back of the bus. - Thank you, Bayard. - Reverend, it's my pleasure. - Well, like you said, it's not
just about buses anymore. [dramatic music] Martin: As I look at it,
I have committed three sins. The first sin I have committed is being born a Negro. The second sin
I have committed, along with all of us, is to object
to the twin battering rams of segregation and oppression. The third and most basic sin
which all of us have committed is having the moral courage
to stand up and express our profound
weariness with this oppression. - You're looking for me. Martin: It is one of the great
glories of America that we have
the right to protest. - I believe you're
looking for me. - This is not a war
between the Negro and the white. This is a conflict
between justice and injustice. You see, most people
see nonviolence as a cowardly or weak thing. It is neither cowardly
nor weak. It is perhaps one of the
bravest forms of confrontation known to man. We are using moral
and spiritual force. This is all we have. We are using
the weapon of love. woman: We who believe
in freedom Cannot rest [percussive music] We who believe in freedom Cannot rest until it comes We who believe in freedom Cannot rest chorus: Freedom
cannot rest woman: Oh, no, how can you woman: We who believe
in freedom Cannot rest Until it comes woman: Until the killing
of a black man Black mothers' sons Is as important as
the killing of white men White mothers' sons We who believe in freedom Cannot rest Oh, no We who believe in freedom Cannot rest
until it comes woman: That which
touches me most Is that I had a chance women: To work with people Passing on to others That which was passed
on to me We who believe
in freedom Cannot rest chorus: Cannot rest woman: Oh, no We who believe in freedom Cannot rest until it comes To me,
young people come first They have the courage
where we fail And if I can
but shed some light As they carry us
through the gale - The Supreme Court decision
on segregation is now law. There is a motion on the floor to end the 13-month-old boycott of public transportation
in Montgomery. All those in favor,
let it be known by-- [cheers and applause] By standing on your feet. woman: We who believe
in freedom Cannot rest Oh, no We who believe in freedom Cannot rest until it comes woman: That which
touches me most Is that I had a chance To work with people Passing on to others That which was passed
on to me We who believe in freedom Cannot rest Oh, no We who believe in freedom Cannot rest until it comes - You comin', brother? - No. You all go on ahead. woman: Don't you be afraid [relaxed funky music] man: Hey Ooh Oh, yeah Ooh, yeah Ooh, yeah, yeah Preacher preaching
in a broken voice Crickets creaking
out the lonely noise The sun is sinking
'cause it's got no choice Just like my sinking heart Ooh woman: People watching
through a veil of tears Singing we shall overcome
our fears He was barely
even 40 years But I can hear him
talk and hear him saying Loud and clear man: When they lay me
down to rest I won't go quietly No Sometimes the price
of life is death But I would never sleep No Remember me Ooh, yeah all: You'll remember
my dream woman: You'll remember me all: You'll remember
my dream [Stevie Wonder's
"Jesus Children of America"] [upbeat funky music] man: Hello, Jesus Jesus, children Jesus loves you Jesus, children Hello, children,
Jesus loves you Of America Mm man: Are you hearing What he's saying? Are you feeling What you're praying? Are you hearing,
praying, feeling What you say inside? Yeah You'd better tell Mm, mm, your story fast man: And if you lie man: It will come to pass Mm Mm Yeah Tell me holy Holy roller Are you standing Like a soldier Are you standing for
everything you talk about? man: Whoa,
said Jesus Meditation It speaks of Preservation Hey, Jesus told us
meditation Gives you peace of mind man: Peace of mind man: You'd better tell Your story fast Hey
man: And if you lie It will come to pass man: Oh, yes Tell the story
about the... [gentle gospel music] all: Hey, hey, Yahweh Hey, hey, my God Hey, hey, Yahweh Ooh, ooh, Almighty Ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh Shoo Whoa, hey, hey, hey Ah, ah Ooh, ooh Hey, Yahweh Hey, my God Share in our way Share in Yahweh [all vocalizing] [all chanting] Hey