Rosa Parks

Civil Rights Activist

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Feb 4,1913-Oct 24,2005

Early Life

  • Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was born on February 4th, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Leona Edwards McCauley and James McCauley.
  • Her parents separated when she was young so she was raised on her maternal grandparents' farm in Pine Level
  • Her early education was received at a blacks-only one-room schoolhouse where classes were only held five months a year
  • Her education was received when she began attending schools at age eleven. She left Alabama State Teachers College at age sixteen to take care of her grandmother.

Getting Involved

Rosa Parks was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP). She and her husband also supported the Scottsboro defendants. She worked with the Montgomery Voters League to try and increase registration in voting for blacks.

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Choices and Results

One day in December Rosa Parks was coming home from work on the bus, she refused to give up her seat to a white person, which was against the law back then. She was taken into custody and fined $14. She was convicted of violating segregation laws, but later she helped to challenge the laws with civil rights lawyers. This caused a 13-month boycott of the Montgomery buses organized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the MIA. The Supreme Court declared this type of segregation illegal in 1956.

In Her Words

  • "My only concern was to get home after a hard day's work"
  • "It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn't feel like obeying his demand. I was quite tired after spending a full day working.
  • "People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically... No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
  • "God has always given me the strength to say what is right."
  • "I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would also be free"
  • "The 1955 incident that pushed the Civil Rights Movement forward was born of Parks' own fatigue from the racial segregation she faced in daily life in Alabama using black-only elevators, water fountains, and schools."

Aftermath

Parks was fired from her job, received threats, and was hassled, along with others who supported the boycott of the buses and the whole Civil Rights Movement. Her health was also affected. She also had disagreements with the leaders of movement in Montgomery, such as Martin Luther King Jr. In 1957, Parks and her husband left Alabama and moved to Virginia then Detroit, Michigan with Rosa's mother. However, she continued to persevere for racial equality and raised funds for the NAACP. She co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development in 1987, which sponsored programs to educate about the Civil Rights Movement.

Words for Her

Rosa Parks was called "the first lady of civil rights" by Sunday News Magazine. Coretta Scott King and Andrew Young said "as the 'mother of the civil rights movement', she had a permanent place in history." Conyers stated, "There are very few people who can say their actions and conduct changed the face of the nation, and Rosa Parks is one of those individuals."
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Legacy

In Washington, D.C., at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference sponsored the Rosa Parks Freedom Award. Rosa Parks contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and helped to end segregation.

Death

Rosa Parks passed away on October 24, 2005, at the age of 92, in Detroit, Michigan because of natural causes.

Annotated Bibliography

  1. "Civil Rights Legend Rosa Parks." MCT Photos. 1999. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This source is a picture of Rosa Parks. It helped me to understand what she looked like.
  2. "Rosa Parks." Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. This source was a very detailed biography that gave information about Rosa Parks from birth through death. It was used for many sections.
  3. "Rosa Parks." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 201. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This source is a picture of Rosa Parks. It looks like it was taken around the time she stood up for civil rights.
  4. "Rosa Parks Receives Congressional Gold Medal." UPI Photo Collection. 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This photo is more recent. It is taken when Parks was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
  5. "Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2015. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This picture is of Parks around the time of the Civil Rights Movement. It was chosen to help the reader comprehend what she looked like.
  6. "Rosa Parks." Notable Black American Women. Gale, 1992. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This article helped to know what other people thought of Rosa Parks. It also shows how they think she assisted in society.
  7. "Rosa Parks Refuses to Move to the Back of the Bus, Alabama 1956." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This is a photo of a police officer inspecting Rosa Parks after she refused to move to the back of the bus. It is used to help the reader understand what Parks did was against the law back then.
  8. "Rosa Parks." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This article helped to describe the legacy and awards Rosa Parks had. It was used for the legacy section.
  9. "Rosa Lee McCauley Parks." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. This is a more recent picture of Rosa Parks. It helped me to understand what she looked like later on in her life.
  10. Nadasen, Premilla, "Rosa Parks." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Gale, 2006. Biography in Context. Web. 7 May 2016. I used this source to find out Rosa Parks' birth and death dates. It helped me to understand her life span.