For three hard years the Mississippi Freedom Movement has been trying to register Black voters against the adamant opposition of the white power- structure, the vicious terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan, and the economic warfare of the White Citizens Council.
Blacks who try to register still face intimidation, violence, and arrest at the Courthouse, a phony literacy test, tricks, and abuses from the Registrar.
When the Montgomery Boycott begins, the initial demands are for amending segregation in a fashion similar to Baton Rouge's Ordinance 251, though they soon change the goal to ending all forms of bus segregation.And early in the Montgomery struggle, Dr King contacts and consults with Reverend Jemison regarding the free-ride system which is then adapted for Montgomery's conditions.We use "Freedom Summer" to refer to the totality of all Movement efforts in Mississippi over the summer of 1964, including the efforts of medical, religious, and legal organizations (see Organizational Structure of Freedom Summer for details).In this discussion, we use the term "volunteer" to refer to those from out of state who came to Mississippi for Freedom Summer, though of course, the many thousands of Black Mississippians who participated were also unpaid volunteers.In January of 1953, bus fares are raised 50% (from 10 to 15 cents).
In early February, Black community leader Reverend T. Jemison of Mount Zion Baptist Church complains to the City Council about Blacks having to stand in the overcrowded rear section while "white" seats are empty.
The Council adopts Ordinance 222 which changes segregated seating so that Blacks fill up the seats from the rear forward and whites fill the bus from front to back on a first-come, first-served basis.
Under this plan, if a bus is filled with Blacks they can occupy the front seats, but they cannot sit on a seat next to a white, or sit in any seat that is in front of a white.
After negotiations between Black leaders and the City Council a compromise Ordinance 251 is adopted on June 24.
The first-come first-serve seating of Blacks from the rear forward and whites from front to back is retained, as is the prohibition against Blacks and whites sitting next to each other or any Black sitting in front of a white.
With Blacks disenfranchised, the undemocratic, "good 'ole boy," crony politics of the South return the same corrupt "Dixiecrat" incumbents to Congress year after year, allowing them to build seniority and amass enormous power.