- Montgomery Bus Boycott Pioneers
arrest mug from the Bus Boycott. Contributed
ED Nixon: The Forgotten Hero
A 30 minute documentary on the life of the father of the
civil rights movement. Featuring interviews of Rosa Parks,
E.D. Nixon, Virginia Durr, Fred Gray and others.
Nixon tells about his life and the civil rights movement
in his own words
Parks tells of meeting E.D. Nixon and registering to vote.
Durr remembers E.D. Nixon.
dubbed as the father of the civil rights movement, Nixon was the
head of the Montgomery branch of the Pullman Porters union and president
of the local NAACP. Long before the famous boycott, Nixon had been
campaigning for civil rights, particularly voting rights, working
in the black community to get people registered to vote. He was
well known for interceding on behalf of those who asked for his
help with white office holders, police and other officials.
a group of 750 men who marched to the Montgomery County courthouse
in 1940 to attempt to register to vote. He also ran for a seat on
the county Democratic executive committee in 1954 and questioned
candidates for the Montgomery City Commission on their position
on civil rights issues the following year. Nixon is credited for
helping to bail Rosa Parks out of jail.
He, along with
white supporters Clifford and Virginia Durr,
bailed her out after a family friend called to tell him she had
been arrested. Nixon believed Parks
was the ideal candidate to challenge the discriminatory seating
policy. After speaking with her family, Parks
had sharp disagreements with leaders in the MIA during those years,
expressing resentment at some, including King
and Abernathy, alleging that they
received more credit. He resigned as treasurer of the MIA with a
bitter letter to King complaining that
he had been treated as a child. It’s reported that he continued
to feud with Montgomery's black middle class community for the next
decade, losing his leadership status in the wake of political defeats
in the late 1960s.
He retired from
the railroad and worked as the recreation director of a public housing