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This Happened

This Happened—December 1: Rosa Parks, The Power Of Defiance

Rosa Parks was an African-American woman who became known as the “mother of the Civil Rights movement,” beginning with a single act of defiance on a city bus on this day 67 years ago.

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What happened when Rosa Parks wouldn’t give up her seat?

While coming back from work in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks, 42 at the time, refused to give up her seat for a white man in a city bus. The driver of the bus, a man named James F. Blake, demanded that she vacate a row of four seats in the "colored" section to let a White passenger sit, since the "White" section had already filled up.

She was arrested and briefly jailed for not complying with the city’s ordinance according to which Black people had to sit at the back of the bus and leave their seat to Whites. Her action set off a boycott of the city’s bus system.

What was the Montgomery bus boycott?

After Rosa Parks’ arrest, a local boycott of city buses was organized by the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to protest segregated seating. The action lasted from December 5 1955 to December 20 1956, with about 40,000 Black people joining the movement. To support the boycott, Black taxi drivers only charged 10 cents per ride and carpools were organized across the city.

After 13 months of protests which brought national and international attention to Montgomery, the U.S Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. The boycott also saw the birth of two prominent figures in the Civil Rights movement: Martin Luther King Jr., MIA’s president who then led national actions against segregation, and Rosa Parks, whose initial spark prompted a national movement. In 1999 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her lifelong activism.

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Livestream Shopping Is Huge In China — Will It Fly Elsewhere?

Streaming video channels of people shopping has been booming in China, and is beginning to win over customers abroad as a cheap and cheerful way of selling products to millions of consumers glued to the screen.

A A female volunteer promotes spring tea products via on-line live streaming on a pretty mountain surrounded by tea plants.

In Beijing, selling spring tea products via on-line live streaming.

Xinhua / ZUMA
Gwendolyn Ledger

SANTIAGOTikTok, owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, has spent more than $500 million to break into online retailing. The app, best known for its short, comical videos, launched TikTok Shop in August, aiming to sell Chinese products in the U.S. and compete with other Chinese firms like Shein and Temu.

Tik Tok Shop will have three sections, including a live or livestream shopping channel, allowing users to buy while watching influencers promote a product.

This choice was strategic: in the past year, live shopping has become a significant trend in online retailing both in the U.S. and Latin America. While still an evolving technology, in principle, it promises good returns and lower costs.

Chilean Carlos O'Rian Herrera, co-founder of Fira Onlive, an online sales consultancy, told América Economía that live shopping has a much higher catchment rate than standard website retailing. If traditional e-commerce has a rate of one or two purchases per 100 visits to your site, live shopping can hike the ratio to 19%.

Live shopping has thrived in China and the recent purchases of shopping platforms in some Latin American countries suggests firms are taking an interest. In the United States, live shopping generated some $20 billion in sales revenues in 2022, according to consultants McKinsey. This constituted 2% of all online sales, but the firm believes the ratio may become 20% by 2026.

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