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Rights Activist Carr Dies at 97

Friend of Rosa Parks and organizer of 1955 Ala. Bus Boycott
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2008 4:00 PM CST
Rights Activist Carr Dies at 97
Carr speaks at Rosa Parks' funeral.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Johnnie Rebecca Carr, an early leader in the civil rights movement and compatriot of Rosa Parks, has died of a stroke at age 97, the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Carr helped organize the Montgomery Improvement Association in 1955 after Parks made her famous stand on a city bus. The group's yearlong boycott caught the nation's attention. She later served as the group's president and was active with it until her death.

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During the boycott, Carr organized carpools for striking riders, reports NPR. In the 1960s, she tested Montgomery’s legal system by enrolling her son in the all-white public school system. Carr had a high profile in the city, encouraging education and tolerance; said the mayor: "Every time I turned around, there's Miss Carr.” (Read more Johnnie Carr stories.)

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