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Thelma McWilliams Glass, the organizer of the historic 13-month Alabama bus boycott which helped to launch the Civil Rights Movement  has died, she was 96. Glass who worked as a professor of geography at Alabama State University passed away, Wednesday (July 25).

A statement released by the school lauded Glass for her commitment to equal rights and education. “The ASU family lost one of its crown jewels today,” said university president Williams H. Harris. “Mrs. Glass was the consummate educator, whose life was a shining example of service, courage and commitment. She will be truly missed.”

Glass worked as an educator for more than 40 years, and was one of a group of women who organized a Montgomery bus boycott, in 1955. The act of civil disobedience occurred after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her sea to a white person. Rather than patronize the bus systems, boycotters walked or organized carpools to get to their destinations.

Aside from the bus boycott, Black citizens also participated in sit-ins, freedom rides, and marches.

In 2011, ASU honored Glass with the Black and Gold Standard Award, she also had an auditorium named after her in the school’s Trenholm Hall.

Funeral arrangements for Glass have not yet been announced, and no cause of death has been released.

Click below to see photos from the Civil Rights Movement.


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Photo: The Grio

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