On this day in Alabama history: Boycott of white businesses began in Tuskegee

On this day in Alabama history: Boycott of white businesses began in Tuskegee
Butler Chapel AME Zion Church, 2011. (Rivers A. Langley, Wikipedia)

June 25, 1957

In 1957, the Alabama Legislature sought to protect white political rule in Tuskegee by redrawing voting districts. The gerrymandered boundaries placed the Tuskegee Institute and all but a few black residents outside the city limits. On June 25, an overflow crowd of 3,000 of Macon County’s black citizens gathered at Butler Chapel AME Zion Church for the first of many weekly mass meetings. It resulted in a boycott of white businesses, driven by the Tuskegee Civic Association, that would last four years and draw national attention. The boycott was called off after the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961 tossed out the gerrymandered districts as a violation of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which bans the federal government and states from denying people the right to vote because of their race.  

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama and the National Park Service.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories