Louise Smith (Ware)
Smith(Ware) was born 1937, in Montgomery, Alabama and has lived
there since her birth. She is the third of six children, four boys
and two girls. Her parents both deceased, are the late Frank and
Alberta Smith. Her mother died at the age of 42 when Mary was 15,
leaving Janie, the oldest sister to become the surrogate mother
of the family. Her father never remarried and worked two jobs to
take care of his young family.
the back with her arms around two of her male
classmates and the rest of her class mates in high
and all her siblings attended and graduated from St. Jude Educational
Institute. A devout Catholic, she is still a member of St.Jude Church
where she was baptized.
the age of 18, October 21, 1955 ,Mary returning home on the city
line bus was ordered to relinquish her seat for a white passenger,
in which she refused. Her stand landed her in jail and she was charged
with failure to obey segregation orders, some 40 days before the
arrest of Rosa
Parks on similar charges. Her father bailed her from jail, paid
her fine. The incident was unknown except for family and neighbors.
arrest was made known at a mass meeting by a cousin. Attorney Fred
Gray asked Mary and her father for Mary to become a plaintiff in
a civil rights class action law suit to end segregated seating.
Her father agreed for he wanted justice for her unlawful arrest.
Mary would find
out later in 1995 by a news reporter that she was discussed as being
a test case by black leaders. They could not find anything negative
about Mary but she was not chosen because it was said her father
was a drunk. The untrue allegation bothers her more than the exclusion
and ignoring of her contributions by Montgomery black leaders for
nearly 48 years.
Louise, her children and nephews. ENLARGE
continued to work for civil rights beyond the boycott and trial.
She worked on voting rights campaigns and attended the March on
Washington. Her sister Annie's son was a plaintiff in the law suit
to desegregate the Y.M.C.A.
Louise (L)and her brother and sister. ENLARGE
you will find her active with her twelve grandchildren and great
grands. Mary married and divorced, raised four children. Her most
enjoyable hobby is reading and she is active in several of her church
auxiliaries and senior citizen clubs.