Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Women’s Political Council

Mary Fair Burks established the WPC in 1946 to improve the status of African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama. Its members, mostly middle class professionals, worked to civically engage and lobby on behalf of the black community. They helped initiate the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, a precipitating event of the national civil rights movement, at which time they had over 200 members. Many members taught with Burks at Alabama State College, which investigated them for participating in the boycotts and eventually caused their resignation and the dispersal of the group.