ABOUT OUR AUTHOR
Wally G. Vaughn graduated from Virginia Union University; the School of Theology at Virginia Union, both in Richmond; Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, and United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. The author has spent nearly twenty years traveling across the South interviewing people who were at the heart of activity in the 1950s and 1960s, and a composite of their stories from various communities present a picture different that what is recorded in history books. He has written oral history and has from the era of The Movement, the late 1940s to 1968 several published works.
Reflections On Our Pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr. 1954 – 1960, is a book of reflections from members of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, but who were young adults in the church during the King era. The Selma Campaign 1963 – 1965 is a collection of accounts from people in Selma who tell how the work there started twenty years earlier, and bring readers to the culminating period 1963 – 1965.
For over fifty years it has been asserted that the Montgomery bus protest resulted from spontaneous reaction. Primary sources (letters, journals, speeches, and interviews from December 1955 – December 1956) reveal that the Montgomery bus protest was ‘under’ girded by strategic planning. A female master mind in the person of Jo Ann Robinson strategized the entire affair, including the recruitment of Rosa Parks as a participant.
Rosa Parks was arrested on Thursday, December 1, 1955 in the late evening. On Friday morning, December 2, 1955 fifty thousand pamphlets were put in circulation in Negro sections of Montgomery urging people to ‘stay off the buses on Monday in protests of the arrests and trial’ of a Negro woman arrested in a bus related incident. Ms. Jo Ann Robinson wrote in her memoir that she and two other people mimeographed the flyers beginning around 12:30 a.m. Friday and by 4:00 a.m. had typed the stencils, mimeographed the leaflets, and cut and bundled them for distribution. The problem is three people could not have done that volume of work in three and a half hours on a hand-cranked mimeograph machine and no one could have typed the required number of stencils on a manual typewriter in this period of time to mimeograph thousands of pages. The flyers were mimeographed long before the arrest of Parks, as the work described would have taken many days to complete.
People of African descent in Montgomery had been laboring to address public conveyance issues for nearly two decades. A master mind devised a strategy and recruited a young Negro attorney and Rosa Parks to assist her in addressing the bus situation. E. D. Nixon accidentally learned of the arrest of Parks, Thursday evening, December 1, and posted her bail. His unexpected involvement brought a dimension to the planned affair not anticipated by the master mind. Nixon’s presence precipitated numerous fresh turns of events between Thursday evening’s arrest and Friday morning; however, the master mind maintained control and kept Nixon on the fringes. On Saturday, December 3, the master mind engineered the election of young pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr., to be the president of a new local organization that was to be formed. The master mind was a member of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. As president of the MIA, King the philosopher unveiled a dynamic, new philosophical model that kept Negroes inspired for over a year. He rose to universal fame, while the master mind whose identity was concealed from the oppressor because of safety concerns guided things quietly from behind the scenes without public recognition. The master mind was a woman.
King, original sources confirm, was subservient to the person who was the brains behind the undertaking. The master-mind developed the strategy that launched events in Montgomery and monitored the situation. King conceived and developed the action that would hold the people together for over a year. This was his unique contribution to the movement in Montgomery. King received the notoriety, but the master-mind was completely in control.
All mentioned above is substantiated by first hand sources. The current story published in books is under girded by mythological presentations, fabrications, and distorted accounts and a couple of forgeries; all which are thoroughly substantiated in Wally G. Vaughn’s well-researched and documented work.