Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Civil Rights Champion Johnnie Carr Remembered


We want to take a few moments to remember the life of a long-time civil rights activist, Johnnie Rebecca Carr. She passed away Friday night in Montgomery, Alabama. Carr was a childhood friend of Rosa Parks. After Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, sparking the historic Montgomery bus boycott, Carr helped organize carpools.

That same year the Montgomery Improvement Association was formed, and Carr became a leading member. She succeeded Martin Luther King, Jr. as the group's president in 1967, a post she held until her death.


Carr continued to speak with groups about civil rights, activism and personal responsibility well into her 90s. Here's a tape of Mrs. Carr speaking to students at Tuskegee Public Elementary School during a black history program.

Ms. JOHNNIE REBECCA CARR (Civil Rights Activist): Some people dream of being high and dream of great things and all that. I am only going to dream of being a soldier, because I love that old hymn that says to serve the present age, my calling to fulfill, o may it all my power engage to do my master's will.

MARTIN: Johnnie Rebecca Carr died in a Montgomery hospital on Friday. She was 97 years old. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.