Saturday, May 27, 2017

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW: Irene Morgan Paved the Way for Rosa Parks

Bet You Didn't Know This:
By Source, Fair use,
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31871975


In 1944, A twenty-seven year old Seventh-Day Adventist black woman, Irene Morgan, made the gutsy decision to refuse to leave the "white" section of an Interstate bus and was arrested in Virginia under state segregation laws eleven years before Rosa Parks' famous refusal to give up her seat on an Alabama local bus. She was a little more spirited than Rosa however. She kicked the Sheriff in the groin when he tried to arrest her!

She landed two highly skilled lawyers on her defense team, one of whom was no less than future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. Irene won her case before the Supreme Court. In 1946 in a landmark decision, the Court ruled that the Virginia law was unconstitutional, as the Commerce clause protected interstate traffic. 
Irene's stubborn singular defense of her rights strengthened the WWII era U.S. anti-discrimination law prohibiting segregation on all interstate transportation and influenced public opinion against Southern racist segregation laws. Unlike Rosa, whose protest was part of a planned challenge of the segregation laws, Irene simply stood up for herself all on her own. With Irene, the NAACP was running along behind her shouting, "Wait for me I'm your leader!"

References:
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irene_Morgan
  2. "Morgan v. Virginia (1946)". www.encyclopediavirginia.org. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  3. Lamb, Yvonne S. "Irene M. Kirkaldy; Case Spurred Freedom Rides," The Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2007: n. pag. Print. 
  4. "Morgan v. Commonwealth (June 6, 1945)". www.encyclopediavirginia.org. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
 © 2017 by Tom King

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