Mrs. Times drove away angrily. “My blood was almost boiling,” she said. “I didn’t even take my clothes to the dry cleaner.”

At home, her husband Charlie had heard of the incident. Together they called ED Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter, and asked what they could do. He came over that night.

As a child, she had participated in a boycott of a butcher shop in Detroit where she was visiting relatives and suggested to Mr. Nixon that the city’s black community could do the same. He agreed, but said the time was not right – they would need money, cars, and other supplies to make this happen. He asked her to be patient.

She called the city bus company to complain, but no one answered. She sent letters to The Montgomery Advertiser and The Atlanta Journal, but they refused to print them. She decided not to wait.

Over the next six months, she conducted her own boycott, driving to bus stops and offering free rides to black passengers waiting to board. Charlie, who runs a cafe across from her house, raised money for gasoline, and they used the cafe as a planning hub – people could call Charlie to arrange a ride and he would put together a timetable for his wife.

“Lucille was called in for bears and she wouldn’t stop at nothing,” said Mr. Nichols. “She was full steam ahead.”

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a seamstress and activist with the Montgomery NAACP, boarded Mr Blake’s bus and sat in the front area reserved for white drivers. When he ordered her to go back, she refused and was arrested. Four days later, the Montgomery Improvement Association, formed in coordination with the NAACP and led by a 26-year-old preacher, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., headed a city-wide boycott.