Civil Rights Icon Who Helped Design Bus Boycott Dies

The Rev. T.J. Jemison
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The Rev. T.J. Jemison
YouTube screenshot  

Civil rights icon the Rev. Theodore Judson Jemison, one of the organizers of the 1953 Baton Rouge, La., bus boycott, died on Friday at the age of 95, The Advocate reports.

The bus boycott served as a template for the nonviolent, yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott planned by Martin Luther King Jr. in Alabama.  

According to The Advocate, the eight-day protest against the city law forbidding black people from sitting in front of white people on the bus did not end segregation, but it did push the city into compromising over which seats blacks could use.


“There’s nobody that can replace him,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden, according to the news site. “He … will go down as one of the most unique people that ever walked the streets of Baton Rouge.

“He was a trailblazer and … a man that left a mark on our history and really taught many of us as young African Americans the importance of being able to stand up for what you believe in,” Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker told the news site. “Not being afraid, but at the same time doing things in a peaceful manner that allowed for a community to heal.”

Jemison was born in Selma, Ala., and became a pastor in 1949. He remained one for 54 years.

Read more at The Advocate.

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