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A Report By
George D. Houser and Bayard Rustin

Fellowship of Reconciliation
2929 Broadway, New York 25. New York

Congress of Racial Equality
Telephone: University 4-2670


On June 3rd, 1946, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in the case of Irene Morgan versus the Commonwealth of Virginia. By this decision it was decreed that the state laws demanding segregation of Interstate passengers on motor carriers was unconstitutional. It was stated in the decision that segregation of passengers crossing state lines was an "undue burden on interstate commerce". Thus it was decided that state Jim Crow laws do not affect interstate travelers. In a later decision in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Morgan decision was interpreted to apply to apply to interstate train travel as well as bus travel.

Early in the fall of 1946 the Executive Committee of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Racial-Industrial Committee of the Fellowship of Reconciliation decided that they should jointly sponsor a "Journey of Reconciliation" through the upper South in order to determine to how great an extent bus and train companies were recognizing the Morgan decision. It was also a primary purpose of the Journey to discover the reaction of bus drivers, passengers, and police to those who non-violently and persistently challenge Jim Crow in interstate travel.

The Journey of Reconciliation has just been completed. During the two-week period from April 9th to the 23rd an interracial group of men, traveling as a deputation team, visited fifteen cities in the state of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. More than thirty speaking engagements were met before church, NAACP., and college groups in the cities contacted. In those meetings the Morgan decision was explained and reports were made on what was happening on the buses and trains in the light of this decision. The response in the meetings was most enthusiastic.

Altogether sixteen men participated in the project either part or full time. For purposes of clarifying the nature of the tests described below, it will be necessary to list the participants by race.

The Negro participants included: Bayard Rustin, on the staff of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and part time worker with the American Friends Service Committee; Wallace Nelson, free-lance lecturer; Conrad Lynn, New York attorney; Andrew Johnson, Cincinnati student; Dennis Banks, Chicago musician; William Worthy, with the New York Council for a permanent FEPC; Eugene Stanley, on the faculty of A. and T. College, Greensboro, North Carolina; Nathan Wright, church social worker from Cincinnati.

The white participants included: George Houser, on the staff of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Executive Secretary of the Congress of Racial Equality; Ernest Bromley, Methodist minister from North Carolina; James Peck, editor of the Workers Defense League News Bulletin; Igal Roodenko, New York horticulturist; Worth Randle, Cincinnati botanist; Joseph Falnot, with the Southern Workers Defense League; Homer Jack, Executive Secretary of the Chicago Council Against Racial and Religious Discrimination; Louis Adams, Methodist minister from North Carolina.

During the two weeks of the trip, twenty-six tests of company policies were made, and there were twelve arrests.




The report of what happened on the test trips should be more complete than is possible in the brief report. For the purpose of brevity many important comments and many psychological reactions have had to be omitted. A later report will have to fill in what is lacking here both in description and in analysis.

At all times there were between eight and ten men participating in the tests. This made it possible to split the group into two parts -- either for the purpose of having two separate tests on the same bus line, or of having a test of the Greyhound and the Trailways both, when those two companies had buses to the next point on our itinerary.

1. Washington, D.C. to Richmond, Virginia. April 9th

No difficulties on this leg of the trip. On both the Trailways and the Greyhound the Negroes in our group were seated up front and the whites in back. Very little notion was paid to this by the passengers, and the bus drivers said nothing. Other passengers tended to cross the color line, too. A white couple sat on the back seat of the Greyhound with two Negroes. A Negro woman sat beside a young white man in the center of the bus when she could have taken a vacant seat by a Negro man. Rustin gave his seat, third from front, to an elderly Negro woman, and then sat by a white lad directly behind the driver. Nothing was said.

2. Richmond, Virginia, to Petersburg, Virginia. April 10th

Because there have been so many cases in the Richmond courts testing segregation in interstate travel, no more arrests are made there. Both the Greyhound and Trailways groups reached Petersburg without incident. The Trailways bus taken was local, running only between the two cities. The tickets used were intrastate, of course. It was crowded, but no attempt was made to have Rustin and Johnson move from the front. Nelson and Lynn rode in front, on the Trailways. Many glances at them, but no direct comment. A Negro man in the rear spoke to Houser and Roodenko, saying a Negro might be able to get away with riding up front here, but some drivers are crazy, "and the further South you go, the crazier they got." Two Negro women talking about Peck, sitting in the rear of the Greyhound, reading his New York Times, said: "He wouldn't know what it was all about if he was asked to move." Then they laughed.

3. Petersburg, Virginia, to Raleigh, North Carolina, April 11th

Lynn was arrested on the Trailways before the bus left the station because he was sitting in the second seat from the front. The bus driver was courteous, but insistent. Lyn explained the Morgan decision, quietly. The driver countered that he was in the employ of the bus company, not the Supreme Court, and that he followed company rules about segregation. He said aloud, so all the passengers could hear: "Personally, I don't care where you sit, but I have my orders. Are you going move?" Lynn said that he could not. The driver then got the police. Three police arrived, who were well restrained. There were no threats, nor abusive language. It took about an hour and a half to get a warrant for Lynn's arrest. At first a magistrate in Petersburg would not sign the warrant until the bus company attorney in Richmond had been called, and dictated the statement of warrant over the telephone. The police urged the bus driver to go to the next town when the first warrant could not be obtained; they didn't want to bother with the case. The warrant read, when finally issued, that Lynn was guilty of disorderly conduct for not obeying the reasonable request of the bus driver to move to the rear in compliance with the company rules. The bus driver apologized for having to arrest Lynn. In conversation with Houser, one of the police said, referring to equality for Negroes, "I am just not Christian enough." He indicated that environment conditioned the people from that part of the country. Passengers on the bus were patient, and relatively neutral, while they waited almost two hours. A Negro porter at the bus station made the only fuss when he boarded the bus, and, looking at Lynn, said: "What's the matter with him? He's crazy. Where does he think he is? We know how to deal with him. We ought to drag him off." Lynn was released on $25.00 bond.

4. Petersburg, Virginia, to Durham, North Carolina. April 11th

On the Greyhound to Durham there was no arrest, but two attempts to arrest. Peck and Rustin seated up front. About ten miles out of Petersburg the driver told Rustin to move. When Rustin refused, the driver said he would "attend to that at Blackstone". However, at the bus station in Blackstone, after consultation with other drivers, the bus went on to Clarksville. There the group changed buses. No further incident occurred until Oxford, N.C. was reached. There the driver got the police. The police refused to make the arrest, while the bus waited for forty-five minutes. Other passengers waiting to get to get on at Oxford were not permitted to do so during this wait. However, a middle-aged Negro schoolteacher from the community was permitted to board, to plead with Rustin to move: "Please move, don't do this. You'll reach your destination either in front or in back. What difference does it make?" Rustin explained his reason for not moving. Other Negro passengers were strong in their support of Rustin, one of them threatening to sue the bus company for being delayed. When Durham was reached without arrest, the Negro schoolteacher plead with Peck not to use his name in connection with the incident at Oxford: "It will hurt me in the community. I'll never do that again."

5. Raleigh, North Carolina, to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. April 12th.

Lynn and Nelson riding together on the double seat next to the very rear of the Trailways bus, and Houser and Roodenko in front of them. The bus was very crowded. Only one other Negro passenger, a woman, seated across from Nelson. She moved to the very rear voluntarily when a white woman got on the bus and there were no seats in front. When two white college men got on, the driver told Nelson and Lynn to move to the rear seat so these two men could sit down. When they refused on the basis of their interstate passage, he said the matter would be handled in Durham. A white passenger asked the driver if he wanted any help. The driver replied: "No, we don't want to handle it that way." By the time the group reached Durham, the seating arrangement had changed, since many white people had got off, so that the driver did not press the matter.

6. Durham, North Carolina, to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, April 12th

Johnson and Rustin were in the second seat from the front on a Trailways bus. The driver asked them to move to the rear almost immediately; so they didn't. Then the station superintendent was called to repeat the order. The police in no more than five minutes. Johnson and Rustin were arrested on the charge of refusing to move when ordered to do so. Peck, who was seated in about the middle of the bus, got up after the arrest and said to the police: "If you arrest them you'll have to arrest me too, for I'm going to sit on the floor." The station superintendent told the police to arrest Peck too. The fellows were taken to the police station, where they were held for half an hour. They were released without charge when an attorney arrived on their behalf. A suit will be taken out against the company and the police for false arrest. The conversation with the Trailways official indicated...


...ferred to the Trailways, with Nelson still in jeopardy. The driver did not notice Nelson immediately. In a small town about ten miles from Statesville the driver approached Nelson and told him he would have to move to the rear. Nelson said that he was an interstate passenger. The driver said that the bus was not interstate. However, when Nelson explained that his ticket was interstate the driver did not press the conversation further but returned to his seat and drove on. The rest of the trip to Asheville was through mountainous country, and the bus stopped at many small towns. At one of the stops a soldier talked with the driver to find out why it was that Nelson was not forced to move. The driver explained that there was a Supreme Court decision and that he could do nothing about it. He said: "If you want to do something about this, don't blame this man (Nelson); kill those bastards up in Washington." The soldier explained to a rather large, vociferous man, who got on a little later, why Nelson was allowed to sit up front. The large man commented "I wish I was the bus driver." Near Asheville the bus became very crowded, and there were women standing up. Two women spoke to the bus driver, asking him why Nelson was not moved. In each case the driver explained that the Supreme Court decision was responsible.

10. Asheville, North Carolina, to Knoxville, Tennessee. April 17th

Banks and Peck were in the second seat on the Trailways. Banks was asked to move before the bus left the station, because a white had approached the bus driver. Banks replied: "I'm sorry, I can't." and explained that he was an interstate passenger. The police were called and the order repeated. A twenty minute consultation took place before the arrest was made. Then Peck was not placed under arrest he got up and said: "We're traveling together, and you will have to arrest me too." Then he sat in the rear. He was arrested. The two men were released from the city jail on $100.00 bond each.

On April 18th the case came up for trial in the police court before Judge Sam Cathay. Mr. Curtis Todd of Winston-Salem was the attorney for Banks and Peck. (There are no Negro attorneys in Asheville, and this was the first time a Negro attorney had appeared in this court.) The indictment against the fellows was that they had violated the Jim Crow law. The two witnesses for the state (the bus driver and the policeman) testified so accurately that it was not necessary to call any defense witnesses. They both said there was not disorder on the part of the arrested men. Neither the judge nor the state's attorney knew about the Morgan decision and they had to borrow Attorney Todd's copy to read in court. The judge asked what the maximum sentence under the law was. Then he was told it was thirty days, he sentenced the two fellows to thirty days each, to be under the supervision of the highway commissioner. Pending appeal the fellows were released on $250.00 bond each.

11. Knoxville, Tennessee, to Nashville, Tennessee. April 17th

Wright and Jack sat at the front of the Greyhound. Before the driver boarded, a red-headed soldier asked the driver if he was going to move Wright. The driver told the soldier that he was. The driver approached Wright as soon as he got on board and asked politely: "Would you like to move?" Wright indicated that he would prefer not to move. The driver disappeared for fifteen minutes. Some Negroes in the rear of the bus discussed the situation audibly. One said to another: "They are going to get the police, and they'll probably hit him." The other said: "When in Rome, I believe in doing as the Romans do." When the bus driver returned he drove off without raising any more questions. This bus trip was at night-time.

12. Knoxville, Tennessee, to Louisville, Kentucky. April 18th

Worthy and Roodenko in the front of a Greyhound bus. The bus got all the way to Corbin, Tennessee, some hundred miles from Knoxville, before there were any questions, Worthy was then asked to move. A white woman from Tennessee talked with the officials in the bus station and to the bus driver and protested against their pressing this action. The bus driver received orders to drive on. There were no questions raised in Kentucky.

13. Nashville, Tennessee, to Louisville, Kentucky, April 19th

Wright and Jack had reserved seats on an all-coach reserved train of the Louisville and Nashville, is a white woman, there was no difficulty in getting on the train. The conductors approached to collect the tickets. One conductor told Wright he would have to move to the Jim Crow car. He said that it was the rules of the company, and "that is the way it is done down here". When Wright refused to move he said he would be back later. When he came back he said: "If we were in Alabama, I and other passengers would throw you out of the window." He threatened to have Wright arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but no arrest took place. A woman sitting the second seat behind the fellows approached them after the conductor left, giving them her name and address, and saying that they could call on her for help.

14. Weaversville, North Carolina, to Bristol, Virginia. April 19th

No test was made. Banks was the only Negro on the bus, and he was on the rear seat. The bus was extremely crowded. The driver asked Banks to move from the rear seat to the double seat in front of the rear seat so that only one white person, and not four, would have to sit beside him. Banks complied. He had a friendly conversation with a young white farmer who sat beside him.

15. Bristol, Virginia, to Roanoke, Virginia, April 19th

Banks and Peck rode together on a Greyhound. The driver approached them, but on neither occasion finally asked them to move.

16. Cincinnati, Ohio, to Roanoke, Virginia, April 19th

Worthy and Houser had coach reservations on the Norfolk and Western. At the gate to the track the railroad man expressed consternation that Worthy had a seat in a white coach, but no attempt was made to keep him from taking it.

17. Roanoke, Virginia, to Washington, D.C. April 20th

Worthy and Bromley sat together in a white coach on the Norfolk and Western, where reservations were not necessary. No questions of any kind were raised about their sitting there. Bromley got off at Charlottesville, Virginia. For the last part of the trip to Washington, a white girl sat beside Worthy rather than sit on her suitcase in the aisle.

18. Roanoke, Virginia, to Lynchburg, Virginia, April 21st

Banks and Houser sat together in the front of the Greyhound bus. No incident of any kind occurred.

19. Lynchburg, Virginia to Washington, D.C., April 22nd

Nelson and Houser were seated at the front of the Trailways bus. The driver did not see Nelson until he was about five miles out of the station. When he stopped at a service station, he asked Nelson to move to the rear. Nelson refused on the basis that he was an interstate passenger. Houser explained that they were traveling together. The driver said they could ride in the rear. Houser asked whether that too would not be breaking the Jim Crow rules of the company by which the driver said he was guided. The driver then said that Houser would have to sit one seat in front of Nelson in the rear. Nelson said that he understood the position the driver was in, that the driver had to obey his orders, but, he explained, the driver should understand the compulsion under which Nelson was working. The driver was very apologetic. It took more than an hour to get a warrant for the arrest of Nelson. State police took Nelson to the small town of Amherst, where he was held for $50.00 bail. Houser rode the bus to Amherst. Again the bus driver apologized profusely for his action when Houser got off to put up the bond for Nelson. The passengers were very patient, rather neutral, in attitude.

20. Amherst, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., April 22nd

Nelson and Houser took a train on the Southern Railway at Amherst. When they got on they asked the conductor where they could ride together. He said they couldn't ride together on that train, it was against the rules. He said: "I'll turn you over to the officials at Charlottesville if you sit together." He indicated that Nelson would have to go up front and Houser back. They sat together in the Jim Crow car. The conductor there said to Houser: "Do you refuse to move?" Again he threatened arrest in Charlottesville. However, the train left the Charlottesville station without the police putting in an appearance.

21. Charlottesville, Virginia, to Washington, D.C. April 23rd

Banks rode alone in the front of the Trailways. Peck and Randle were riding on the rear seat. For two hours out of Charlottesville there was no incident. In the small town of Culpepper, Virginia, the driver told Banks to move to the rear. It took about an hour and a half to get a warrant issued for Banks' arrest. A Negro woman who had a supposition on selling bus tickets in town came on board the bus and offered to help Banks in any way she could. The warrant read that Banks was guilty of not obeying the order of the driver. Nothing was said to Peck or Randle, sitting in the rear, in spite of the fact that the rules of the company state that white persons shall not sit in the rear. Banks was released on a $25.00 bond.



1. Confusion

The one word which most universally describes the attitude of police, of passengers, and of the Negro and white bus riders is "confusion". This state resulted from the fact that these various groups taking part in the psychological struggle in the buses and trains either did not know of the Morgan decision or, if they did, possessed no clear understanding of it. Thus when police officers and bus drivers in authority took a stand, they tended to act on the basis of what they knew - - the state of Jim Crow law. In the South, where the caste system is rigidly defined, this confusion is extremely dangerous, and leads to frustration. Frustration is usually followed by aggression in some form.

2. Apathy and Neutrality

The great majority of the passengers were apathetic and did not register their feelings even in situations where it was apparent from facial expressions that certain of them actually were for or against the action which the group was taking, but then people failed to speak up.

3. Bus Company Directives

It was generally apparent that the bus companies were attempting to circumvent the intentions of the Supreme Court in the Irene Morgan decision, by reliance on state Jim Crow laws, by company regulations, and by subtle pressures. In the case of the Greyhound Company, this effort was far less direct than on Trailways, which usually resorted to arrest.

4. Negro Reaction

Negroes generally tend to follow the dominant reaction of the bus. There were exceptions to this, of course, but generally there at first fear. This was followed by caution. Then the Negroes appraised the general atmosphere of the bus. There cautious Negroes saw resistant Negroes sitting in the front unmolested, they tended to move from the rear forward, too.

5. Absence of Violence in Bus

In all the experiments there was not one overt act of violence on the part of anyone in the buses. The most extreme negative reactions were verbal, but without profanity. Typical of this is the statement of a young Marine who said: "The K.K.K. is coming up again and I guess I'll join up." The one act of violence against a member of the group was on the part of a taxi cab driver outside the bus station at Chapel Hill. This act -- A single but hard blow to the head -- was directed against a white man.

6. Uncle Tom Reaction

On three occasions when Negro testers protested discrimination by sitting in the front, other Negroes -- a porter, a school teacher, and a day laborer - - urged the resisters in very emotional terms to comply with the law. Their request was in part the result of fear, or as in the case of the Negro porter, an attempt to ingratiate himself with the white authorities. Such reactions are to be expected in a caste system and represent the kind of personal degradation which ought to spur us on to eliminate caste.

7. The Responsibility of authority

Policemen and bus drivers have a terrific responsibility in social change of this kind. Success or failure, violence or peaceful change, is in large part determined by the position they take. White persons generally ignored Negroes in the front of buses or in non-Jim Crow cars on trains, until the bus drivers or train conductors raised an issue. No art of the opinion that if the bus drivers had not raised issues, the passengers in most cases would have continued to ignore the Negroes sitting the front or in white coaches. In one outstanding case between Statesville and Asheville, North Carolina, a passenger indicated to the bus driver that Negroes were riding in a non-caste position. A clear statement from the driver explaining the Morgan decision quieted the protesting white passenger. It is our belief that when those in authority take a clear stand, passengers who might resent a Negro's presence in a non-traditional position will accept the situation with a typical shrug of the shoulder — "Well, this is the law. What can you do."

8. Police Attitude

In every case in which police arrested, and there were twelve, there is not a single example of police inconsideration. The police were polite and calm, and if there were police who were anti-Negro there was no indication of it. In fact, one officer (as reported in the Petersburg incident ),when pressed for a reason for his unwillingness to sit beside a Negro himself, said: "I'm just not Christian enough, I guess." This would not necessarily be true in the Lower South.

9. Nonviolence

Without exception those arrested behaved in a non-violent fashion. They acted without fear, spoke quietly and firmly, showing great consideration for the police and bus drivers, and repeatedly pointed to the fact that they expected the police to do their duty as they saw it. No one can overemphasize the necessity for this courteous and intelligent manner while breaking with the caste system. It is our belief that the police behaved politely stems from the fact that there was not the slightest provocation in the attitude of the resisters. On the other hand, we tried at all times to understand their attitude and position first.

10. Interracial Group a Necessity

Another reason for the lack of tension was the result of the group's being interracial. We did not allow a single situation to develop so that the struggle appeared to be between white and Nero persons, but rather that the progressives and democrats, white and black, were working by peaceful means to overcome a system which they felt to be wrong.

11. Necessity for Southerners

More and more we became aware that the more Southern people who refused to accept Jim Crow the better. If a small portion of the white population refused Jim Crow, as now practiced it would be impossible. There is a resentment against Northerners who are considered plants and imports. Our trip could have been reduced greatly in effectiveness had there not been a number of people along who were born in the South, and some who are now living there.

12. Taking the Initiative

In the uncertainty of the bus was gained when someone within our group took the lead and began the discussion when the bus drivers, or train conductors, and police in authority appeared. Those who seemed to be certain of their facts and who spoke clearly and with assurance tended to set the tone. Attitudes were greatly accelerated in the proper direction whenever a person of liberal sentiments spoke up first.

13. Learning about the Morgan Decision

As the trip progressed it became more and more evident that the police and bus drivers were learning about the Irene Morgan decision as word was passed from city to city and from driver to driver about the "test cases". You see here again the necessity for the creation of incidents as "teaching techniques". The following paragraph from a letter written by a student at Chapel Hill, where we had our most tense situation, supports this contention: "I don't know whether all the stir had been in vain or not. Everyone on this campus now knows about FDR and the Supreme Court decision. What is more important, many people, including my ten very conservative roommates, are thinking seriously about the whole nonviolent approach to social problems."

14. Chief Danger

The incident at Chapel Hill indicates that one of the chief dangers violates is from crowds which gather outside buses, whose members are unable to hear the discussion or to know and debate the facts given wisely. They tend rarely to pick up bits of hearsay. This situation is given to the creation of false rumors. It is also true that many taxi drivers, poolroom fellows, and idlers are apt to be in the groups which hang around bus terminals. Many men in these group have very little to hold on to for status except Jim Crow. No matter how poor they are, as one pellagra-ridden white farmer said, they feel "better than the niggers."

15. Direct Action

It is our belief that without direct action on the part of groups and individuals, the Jim Crow pattern in the South cannot be broken down. We are equally certain that such direct action must be non-violent.

16. The Importance of Women

Generally it appears that the women were more intellectually inquisitive, open for discussion, and liberal in their sentiments than men. On several occasions women not only defended those who broke with Jim Crow, but gave their names and addresses offering to act as witnesses. One might conclude that in appealing for aid (in the psychological struggle within the bus) one might do well to concentrate on winning over women.

17. Greyhound Failed to Arrest

All the arrests occurred on the Trailways Buses. It is difficult to account for this. One might suppose that the fact that Trailways services largely Southern states and is not used so universally to Interstate travel as the Greyhound lines, may in part account for the difference.

18. Southern Reactionary Position

If the attitude of those Southerners who did speak up could be put in a nutshell, it might be well to select the words of one Southerner who was then in authority: "The South is the South and will always be this way. We don't care about the Supreme Court decision." This is not so much an attitude of resistance to change as it is one of despair and cynicism.

19. People Prepared for Change

We believe that the great majority of the people in the upper South are prepared to accept the Irene Morgan decision and to ride on buses and trains with Negroes. One white woman [unreadable] taking a seat beside a Negro man, said to her sister wo was about to protest that she should take care: "I'm tired. Anything for a seat."

20. Aggression Against Whites

In a number of states I was apparent that those persons who did not wish to see change, particularly the bus drivers, became more angry at the white participants than at the Negroes. This is an important observation, since, except in extreme cases, the white resisters may need to be prepared to bear the brunt.

21. Flux

The situation in the upper South is in a great state of flux. The indication is that where numerous cases have been [unreadable], that is to say, where there has been great resistance, as in northern Virginia, the barriers are already down, and Negroes can, in large part, ride without fear of arrests. This picture of Virginia is in part true for North Carolina, southern Tennessee, and Kentucky. One has reason to believe that when in the other areas there has been as much a concentrated educational effort and non-violent resistance as has occurred in upper Virginia, conditions will equally improve.



Suggestions for Individual Action

1. You can break the pattern. If you are white, you can ride in the back; if you are Negro, you can sit in the front.

2. Prior to taking such action you should get in touch with the NAACP. lawyer in your area. CRISIS magazine, the publication of the NAACP., carries on its back page the name and location of lawyers in the various states who cooperate with them. You can sit up front when you have an interstate ticket, even when you do not intend to remain there, and move back when faced with arrest. This is important because it gives you an opportunity to raise the issue of the Morgan decision and undoubtedly numbers of people and the bus drivers will look into the matter. It is of course preferable to remain in the non-caste section.

3. You may write to the Fellowship of Reconciliation, 2929 Broadway, New York 25, New York, for an additional list of lawyers, some of whom may not be members of the NAACP.

4. Speak up and witness if in a bus in which you are riding a Negro or white person breaks the Jim Crow pattern. Offer your name and address as a witness. This does not necessarily mean that you will be called into court. An affidavit may suffice. It is important to remember that those who are opposed to Negroes' having their rights will undoubtedly speak up. You could balance the picture.

5. Be non-violent. Remain courteous and calm. Explain the meaning of the decision in simple language. Make it clear that you do not mean to create a disturbance.

6. Give. In order to raise money for the legal defense of the pioneers who ride contrary to the Jim Crow pattern it is necessary for groups like FOR, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the NAACP. to appeal to you for financial aid. Give.

7. Talk with officials. At every opportunity you should raise the issue not only with the bus driver but with company officials. You should point clearly to what the Morgan decision is and how the company ought to behave.

8. Keep in touch with the bus companies. Report any irregularity, ay discrimination, and any inconsideration on the part of the bus drivers. If you believe that Negroes and whites in your area can ride together peaceably, tell the company so. In this way you acquaint not only the bus driver, but also the company officials, with the fact that people throughout the country are aware of the Morgan decision and believe that it should be adhered to.

9. Distribute material. If it is true that there is confusion in the minds of the people, one of the easiest ways to eliminate it is to circulate leaflets locally explaining the Morgan decision. These can be left in bus and train stations, churches, young people's groups, fraternal organizations, etc.

10. Legislate. Work in the state legislatures for changes in the Jim Crow law. We have reason to believe that discrimination in travel in the upper South can be done away with and should be done away with, as Virginia Debney, editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, pointed out some years ago. Draw up a constructive plan at once and submit it to the FOR. We are interested in redistributing such plans to others.

Suggestions for Group Action

Your group, fraternal organizations, school, labor group, or church can assist in the following ways:

1. Establish a legal committee. Such a committee ought to be interracial, and should be prepared to deal with legal and financial problems which occur when individuals who are unprepared to take care of themselves resist the Jim Crow pattern.

2. Develop test cases. Each group, of course, might to put up a quota, let us say three test cases per month.

3. Distribute material. Over the [unreadable] of your organization you ought to distribute throughout your community thousands of leaflets and advertising material calling attention to the Supreme Court decision.

4. Educate. It is vitally important that young people's groups, church groups, etc., debate the Irene Morgan decision. We therefore propose that young people in interracial teams visit various organizations, speaking before them and encourage a thorough-going discussion of the issues in the Morgan case.

5. Jot up in your local high school or college or church or labor union a series of prizes for the best essays written on the Irene Morgan decision and the degree to which train and bus companies follow it.

6. Journey of Reconciliation. When your church or other group or organization has conferences requiring delegates to come from other states, present resolutions for groups returning interracially, or breaking the Jim Crow pattern on their return trip. Even if groups do not return so, the educational job done in the debate will have been rewarding.

7. The group should send out interracial groups on Journeys of Reconciliation. If there is doubt as to friendly nearby contacts, write our office.

Copyright © Bayard Rustin, George Houser, 1946.

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