The Pain and the Promise: a Story of the Tallahassee Bus Boycott

Decent Essays
Brittani Flemons

His 329 Section 2

April 14, 2010

The Pain and the Promise: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Tallahassee, FL

The Pain and the Promise by Glenda Alice Rabby gives an account of the long, hard struggles blacks had to endure to achieve equality among whites in Tallahassee and throughout Florida. A lot of people had the misconception that Florida wasn’t like its neighboring Southern states. Rabby proves throughout the book that those were just mere misconceptions and in fact, Florida was equally resistant to change as other states below the Mason Dixon line. Tallahassee, being the state’s capitol, was going to be the city that set the framework for the entire state during the modern civil rights movement if
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Whites was stuck in their traditional Southern ways and wasn’t about to let blacks change that. When blacks tried to protest non-violently, the whites was ready to start a riot but the blacks were the ones arrested for “inciting a riot”. Some blacks even lost hope because they felt they were fighting a losing battle. But the fight continued and some blacks such as C. K. Steele wasn’t going to stop fighting until total integration was achieved.

The movement in Florida had both successes and failures but the failures seemed to outweigh the successes because of the length of time it took for total cooperation with desegregation. Even decades later race still seems to be an issue in Tallahassee, although segregation was done away with. Whites just found different ways of showing their racism. Blacks had to break through many, many barriers to get to where they are today. It’s only been a couple of decades since the first black city officials have been elected into office. Tallahassee didn’t start adopting a unitary school system until 1970, sixteen years after the Brown case. There have been some successes for blacks during the movement years in Tallahassee; they just seem minute compared to how long it took them to achieve it and how much longer they got to go.

I feel this book has contributed greatly to the scholarship written on the
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