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Civil Rights Legend Lucille Times, Known for Montgomery Bus Boycotts, Dies at 100

Times owned the cafè where Martin Luther King Jr. would plan the historical bus boycott, months after she physically fought with a racist bus driver.



Rachel Pilgrim
In this May 15, 1961 file photo, a bus bearing Freedom Riders leaves the station as they resumed their rides through the South in Montgomery, Ala. .
In this May 15, 1961 file photo, a bus bearing Freedom Riders leaves the station as they resumed their rides through the South in Montgomery, Ala. .
Photo: Associated Press (AP)

A Montgomery civil rights-era legend, Lucille Times, has passed away at the age of 100.

Times is known for getting in a fistfight with a bus driver in 1955. That bus driver would turn out to be driving the same bus Rosa Parks sat on only six months later.

According to WSFA 12 News, her nephew, Daniel Nichols, confirmed that Times passed away late Monday evening.

Times wasn’t arrested, but the ordeal prompted her to begin her own boycott of the buses, and she made it her mission to change things. When the Montgomery Bus Boycott later got started, she continued what she’d been doing for months; picking up waiting Black passengers she saw at bus stops.

Parks’ arrest that December would catapult her into history, making her name synonymous with the civil rights struggle. But Times would remain relatively obscure to the masses for more than half a century, though locally she was well known.

Times confronted the driver after he attempted to run her car off the road, according to WSFA’s reporting. She was a pillar of her community and was awarded the Unsung Hero Award in Montgomery back in 2017 for her involvement in the civil rights movement.

Refinery29 reported that Times and her husband Charlie participated in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. After the march, they opened their home to 18 people from around the country of all races to stay the night.

The Times also owned the well-liked Times Cafe, where Martin Luther King Jr. and his colleagues planned the Montgomery Bus Boycott that made Rosa Parks a household name. They were active members of the NAACP and chartered many local organizations and clubs. In 2007, the home they lived in since 1939 became a historical landmark.

According to WSFA, in 2017, she held a “Meet & Greet” at the Rosa Parks Museum following an interview with her longtime friend, former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, that went viral on Facebook. This past February, Times was honored at the E.D. Nixon-Lucille Times Community Garden in Montgomery. She was reportedly unable to attend herself due to COVID-19 precautions.

From WSFA:

A public viewing will be held from noon-3 p.m. Saturday at Phillips-Riley Funeral Home in Montgomery. Funeral services will be held on Sunday at 1 p.m. from St. Jude Catholic Church, with Father Andrew Jones officiating. Burial will follow in the Oakwood Annex Cemetery.

Times celebrated her 100th birthday this past April.



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