James Fred Blake was a bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama. On 1 December 1955, he had Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat on his bus to Graham O’Brien, a white passenger, an action which started the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Besides being racist, James appeared short tempered and unreasonable, given his snapping at Rosa for walking down the aisle of the bus instead of getting off and re-boarding the bus through the “coloureds” door after paying the fee.
He became infamous for his actions that day. Grace O’Brien believed that Blake gave all bus drivers a bad name when she learned that her future husband was also a bus driver. He was infamously known as “Jake the Snake” by Grace.
Krasko attempted to prevent the rise of the Civil Rights Movement by preventing Blake from confronting Parks. Due to Krasko’s interference, he was due to take the day off on 1 December, the day of Parks’s arrest, to go fishing.
However, he was approached by Graham O’Brien and his step-grandson, Ryan Sinclair. Blake was shocked that Ryan could be related to Graham and seemed uneasy about the presence of a black man in his fishing spot. When Ryan fabricated an alleged staged incident on the buses from the black citizens of Montgomery, Blake resumed his place in history and ended up calling the police on Rosa Parks (Rosa)