SMITH - WARE
SMITH FAMILY MEMORIAL PLAQUE
Help us place a Historical Marker at the Smith Home Site to honor this valiant and courageous family for contributions that have made to Montgomery, The YMCA, the nation. As of today April 2022, there is no public sign, no named street; no public memorial exists to show the accomplishments, an appreciation and honor for the sacrifices and contributions made by the Smith Family.
OVER LOOKED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
On October 21, 1955, weeks before Rosa Parks’s arrest, Mary Louise Smith, a teenage maid was jailed for violating Montgomery’s segregated bus ordinance for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger.She was returning home from an unsuccessful trip to a white employers home who stiffed her out a weeks wages. Months later, amidst the ongoing Montgomery Bus Boycott, Frank Smith consented for his teenage daughter to become one of four named plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the federal lawsuit that challenged the ordinance as a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. On June 5, 1956, the U.S. District Court sided with the plaintiffs. The U.S. Supreme Court later affirmed the ruling, November 14, 1956, bringing to a close two generations of law upholding the constitutionality of segregation. The suit brought about the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, December 21, 1956, ignited a decade of civil and human struggles and beyond, and rose Dr. King, Mrs. Parks and Attorney Fred, Sr. to international fame.
Members from a younger generation of the Smith family played an important role in another 14th Amendment civil rights case. In 1969, Mary Louise Smith and her sister Annie Ruth Smith consented for their young sons, Edward and Vincent, to serve as plaintiffs in a lawsuit, Smith vs YMCA, brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the Montgomery YMCA. The two cousins were denied admission to a summer swim program held at an all-white Montgomery YMCA branch. In 1972, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the young plaintiffs, finding that a secret non-compete agreement between the organization and the city, as well as a series of in-kind public services, effectively made the YMCA the de facto recreational arm of the city. The ruling resulted in the desegregation of the Montgomery YMCA and brought an end to the remaining segregation ordinances in Alabama’s capital city.
We, Cosmo D Productions, are asking for your assistance to place a Historical Marker at the Smith Family Home Site. Our goal is $3,000.00 by the end of August 2022. Please send your donations to Cosmo D Productions, P. O. Box 798, Selma, Al, 36701, or online with cash app. Please dont forget to add your mailing address to get a personal thank you note. Donations of 25.00 or more will receive a frameable receipt. Marker Erected by Cosmo-D Productions.