Rosa Parks helped to launch the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. Georgia Gilmore was instrumental in helping sustain this movement for 13 months until the Supreme Court handed down the ruling that segregation of public buses is unconstitutional.
Gilmore was a midwife, cook, and single mother of 6, living in Montgomery Alabama. She joined the Montgomery Improvement Association association as soon as the boycott began in 1955. She wanted to find a way to help with the boycott, She loved to cook and decided to use her skills to support the cause. She organized friends and other local black women to make baked goods to help fund the Montgomery bus boycott. They called themselves the “Club From Nowhere” in order to avoid retribution from the authorities and employers. When asked, “Where did that pie come from?” the women would respond “From Nowhere.” The cooks went door-to-door selling bakery items, sandwiches, and full meals. The profits were donated to the Montgomery bus boycott leaders to help keep the carpools going so that black people could get to work, church and meetings while the African-American community boycotted the busses.
Eventually, Gilmore‘s boss learned of her activism and she was fired from her job. Sadly this was not an uncommon practice. Gilmore didn’t let that stop her, she turned it into an opportunity. With the encouragement of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she turned her house into an informal restaurant. She started to cook meals in her kitchen and sell her delicious food to anyone that stopped by. The city tried to shut her down, but King helped her remodel the kitchen to meet the city standards, and she continued to cook. Her food not-only nourished workers and volunteers of the Civil Rights Movement, her grassroots organization helped make the Civil Rights Movement possible.