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Signpost to Freedom: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott (2004)



Genre: Documentary

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2004-11-16

Duration: 00:56:46

Subjects: Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, Baton Rouge, La., 1953 | Civil Rights | Segregation | African Americans | VOTING RIGHTS | Civil rights demonstrations | Discrimination | BOYCOTTS | Jemison, T.J. (Theodore Judson) | United Defense League (Baton Rouge, La.) | Parks, Rosa, 1913-2005 | King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | Montgomery Bus Boycott, Montgomery, Ala., 1955-1956


  • Melton, Christina Producer
  • Crews, Keith Photographer
  • Crews, Keith Editor
  • Melton, Christina Writer
  • Richard, Charles Writer
  • King, Chris Thomas Composer
  • Joseph, James A. Narrator
  • Freeman, Veronica Interviewee
  • Fairclough, Adam Interviewee
  • Doherty, Lewis, III Interviewee
  • Young, Andrew Interviewee
  • Thompson, Horatio Interviewee
  • Jones, Johnnie, Sr. Interviewee
  • Freeman, Hazel Interviewee
  • Badger, Anthony Interviewee
  • Jemison, T.J. Interviewee
  • White, Martha Interviewee
  • Brinkley, Douglas Interviewee
  • Williams, Juan Interviewee
  • Reed, Willis Interviewee


A 2004 documentary focused on the 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, the nation’s first large-scale bus boycott challenging segregation. This program explores: segregation in Baton Rouge; the grassroots activism of the African American community during the 1940s and 1950s, especially in the area of voting rights; the events that led to the boycott of the Baton Rouge Bus Company; the 8-day bus boycott and subsequent compromise with the City Council; the leadership of Reverend T.J. Jemison of the Mount Zion First Baptist Church and the United Defense League throughout the boycott; the impact of the successes and failures of the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott on Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956; and the importance of the bus boycott to the evolution of non-violent, grassroots civil rights activism during the Civil Rights Movement. Narrator: James A. Joseph