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
Carr speaks at Rosa Parks' funeral.   (Getty Images)
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(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.

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.)