Mary Louise Smith-Ware and her family were leaders in the struggle for justice and democracy in Montgomery, Alabama. They helped changed the face of city of Montgomery; Alabama, and the nation. Mary was arrested and jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white male passenger on October 21, 1955 in Montgomery before Mrs. Parks in December of 55. Her father, Frank Smith bailed her from jail and signed for her to be one of four lead plaintiffs in Browder v Gayle, the lawsuit that ended the boycott, nailed the coffin in Plessy v Ferguson, and lit the flame of the Modern Civil Rights Movement. Her oldest sister, Janie Smith James provided transportation for boycotters.
Mary has lived in Montgomery all her life and continued to support civil rights activities after the boycott and Browder trial. She and sister Annie Smith desegregated the Montgomery YMCA and overturned a 1957 Montgomery Ordinance that forbid public social interaction of blacks and whites.(Smith vs YMCA in 1969). Mary attended the March on Washington and supported the 65 Voting Rights March.
There exists no public sinage of her contributions and I am asking for your support to correct this grave oversight. We are raising funds,(estimated to cost $3,000.00)to fabricate and erect a Memorial Plaque at their original home house of 1955.
Please send your contributions to Cosmo-D Productions, PO Box 798, Selma, Alabama 36702