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~Today in 1962 the Bus boycott of Macon Georgia begins...
February 12, 1962, William P. “Daddy Bill” Randall was speaking at a mass meeting (most likely held at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in east Macon). A prominent spokesperson and community leader for Macon’s black population, Randall was one of the city’s most influential civil rights activists. He actively served as a chief board member of Macon’s NAACP and as chairman of the Negro Citizens Negotiating Committee, an African American civil rights organization established in the city during the early 1960s.
In early 1962, seven years after the Montgomery bus boycott led by the Reverend Dr. King and Jo Ann Robinson, Randall spearheaded a campaign to end segregation on city and county buses and to increase the employment of black American workers as bus drivers and mechanics. On February 7, in collaboration with several other African Americans--Walter Davis, the president of Macon’s NAACP; Ruby Williams, president of the City Federation of Women’s Clubs; and Rev. A. J. Shaw, president of Macon’s Evangelical Ministers Alliance--Randall mailed a letter demanding equal treatment to Linton D. Baggs, who headed the Bibb Transit Company which owned the city buses. Baggs and other city officials ignored their letter, prompting Randall to call for a bus boycott by the black community. Addressing the audience in this clip, he uses the religious rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement to urge them to keep fighting and refusing to ride the buses until equal rights have prevailed in Macon.
The boycott of the Bibb Transit Company officially began February 12, 1962, and it lasted for three weeks. Despite a series of court decisions in other Georgia cities that had declared segregated transportation unconstitutional, Macon’s African American residents still faced massive resistance to integration attempts. As was the case with the Albany students who attempted to desegregate the city's downtown Trailways bus station, arrests swiftly ensued when student protesters and ministers attempted to sit in the front seats of Bibb Transit's buses.