Lowndes County native, E. D. Nixon was a long-time leader of the civil rights movement in Alabama. He worked tirelessly to increase the number of registered black voters in Montgomery and was one of the key organizers of several civil rights organizations in the state. In 1945, he was elected as the president of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, just two years later becoming the state president of the organization. In 1955 Nixon and a group of Montgomery-area clergy and civic leaders, founded the Montgomery Improvement Association or MIA. The MIA provided a focal point for activism in Montgomery’s black community and its leaders organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which the city’s black citizens refused to ride public transportation for an astounding 381 days. Long-overdue recognition was finally bestowed on this early civil-rights hero when the Montgomery County Public School System named an elementary school in his honor in 2001.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama

Photos courtesy of: Alabama Department of Archives and History. Donated by Alabama Media Group. Photo by Tom Gibson, Birmingham News