Martin Luther King and The Freedom Provided By Cars

Driving is a liberating technology, and we ought to recognize this, especially as we approach Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Let’s think back to 1955, when African Americans stayed off segregated buses in Montgomery, Ala. During the year-long boycott, 325 private cars, some owned by African Americans, some by whites, some by churches, picked up people at 42 sites around the town.

Police harassed the drivers -- Martin Luther King Jr. was stopped for speeding (30 in a 25-mph zone) about 30 times -- but oppressing people in private cars is harder than oppressing them in public buses.

The boycott was successful, in part because of King’s fiery rhetoric, but also because of car ownership.

via The Volokh Conspiracy » Martin Luther King and automobility.