Rosa Parks (Author of Rosa Parks)Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement.
On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blakes order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind: Irene Morgan, in 1946, and Sarah Louise Keys, in 1955, had won rulings before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Interstate Commerce Commission respectively in the area of interstate bus travel. Nine months before Parks refused to give up her seat, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to move from her seat on the same bus system. But unlike these previous individual actions of civil disobedience, Parkss action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Parkss act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr., helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.
At the time of her action, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for workers rights and racial equality. Nonetheless, she took her action as a private citizen tired of giving in. Although widely honored in later years for her action, she also suffered for it, losing her job as a seamstress in a local department store. Eventually, she moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she found similar work. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to African-American U.S. Representative John Conyers. After retirement from this position, she wrote an autobiography and lived a largely private life in Detroit. In her final years she suffered from dementia and became embroiled in a lawsuit filed on her behalf against American hip-hop duo OutKast.
Parks eventually received many honors ranging from the 1979 Spingarn Medal to the Congressional Gold Medal, a posthumous statue in the United States Capitols National Statuary Hall. Her death in 2005 was a major story in the United States leading newspapers. She was granted the posthumous honor of lying in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.
Instead of going to the back of the bus, which was designated for African Americans, she sat in the front. When the bus started to fill up with white passengers, the bus driver asked Parks to move. She refused. Her resistance set in motion one of the largest social movements in history, the Montgomery Bus Boycott. As a child, she went to an industrial school for girls and later enrolled at Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes present-day Alabama State University. Unfortunately, Parks was forced to withdraw after her grandmother became ill.
The Civil Rights leader and activist was born on Feb. Parks is most recognized for her contributions during the Civil Rights Movement, and for her extreme bravery that helped pave the way for the desegregation of blacks by her refusal to surrender a bus seat to a white passenger. On that day of her history-making arrest, her bold actions helped spark the Montgomery boycott that led to lasting change in the city. Her parents were both former slaves, and she grew up in a family that strongly stood for racial equality. She left school during her junior year of high school to care for her sick grandmother and mom, and eventually landed a job as a seamstress in Montgomery. On the fateful day of Dec. Bus drivers were responsible for assigning seats to passengers, and would often demand blacks give up their seats for whites, and if they protested this they would call police officials.
In she married Raymond Parks, who encouraged her to return to high school and earn a diploma. She later made her living as a seamstress. African Americans constituted some 70 percent of the ridership. On November 13, , the U. In Parks moved with her husband and mother to Detroit , where from to she was a member of the staff of Michigan Congressman John Conyers, Jr. In she cofounded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development to provide career training for young people. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal
Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white male passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, December 1, , triggered a wave of protest December 5, that reverberated throughout the United States.
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By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in , black seamstress Rosa Parks — helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. The leaders of the local black community organized a bus boycott that began the day Parks was convicted of violating the segregation laws. Led by a young Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation.