Georgia Gilmore

by Dee Romito from Buffalo, New York in United States

When we learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, we usually hear about the contributions of the great civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. But there were many others, often behind the scenes, who helped make the boycott a success.

Georgia Gilmore worked at a lunch counter as a cook in Montgomery, Alabama. When it was time to stand up against the horrible ways black passengers were treated on the buses, she was ready to help in the best way she knew how. She worked with a group of women to sell sandwiches and baked goods, with all the profits going to the Montgomery Improvement Associating for the boycott.

People needed rides, and drivers needed gas and car maintenance. Georgia’s group of women were able to cover many of those expenses. But because being associated with the boycott meant they were in danger of losing their jobs, the group was a secret, known only as “The Club from Nowhere.”

After being fired from her job because she testified on behalf of the boycotters, Georgia needed a way to provide for her six children. So she started a business of her own. Her home restaurant was a place where both black and white community members could gather and eat. It was a favorite of civil rights leaders, who could have private meetings there.

Georgia’s cooking skills, as well as her determination and strong ties to the community, made her a critical part of the success of the boycott. When the Supreme Court declared segregation illegal, it was a day of celebration.

There are many hidden figures like Georgia Gilmore in our history. Georgia is a hero whose story should inspire and encourage us all to use our own skills and talents to make a difference in the world. No action is too small when the goal is working toward a more fair and just society.

Page created on 6/24/2021 2:24:36 PM

Last edited 6/24/2021 9:00:12 PM

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Related Links

More about Georgia Gilmore - For more about Georgia, check out Pies from Nowhere, as well as links to interviews and articles.