Rosa Parks

The woman who refused to give up her bus seat


“The more we give in and comply, the worse they treat us.” This was said by Rosa Parks, an incredibly strong and brave woman. She was the black woman who refused to give up her bus seat, who worked hard for the equal rights of black people, and showed them how to stand up to whites. Despite the hardships in her childhood, Rosa never gave up. She became one of the most respected people for black rights.

Early life

Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913. Rosa’s early life was filled with segregation and hardships. When she was two and a half, her parents separated, and she went to live with her grandparents in Montgomery. Every day when she walked to school, she would see a school bus roll by. The children inside were all white. They threw garbage at Rosa and other blacks and called them bad names. When Rosa was eleven, she was enrolled in a school that was started for whites. One day on her way home, a white boy pushed her, and she pushed him back. At such an early age, we could tell that Rosa would be an important person.

Adult life

When Rosa was eighteen, she met Raymond Parks. Raymond worked for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP). After two years, they got married in Pine Level and went to live in Montgomery. After she got married, she got her high school diploma. Not many blacks got a diploma, so Rosa was proud to be one. A few years later, Raymond decided to quit the NAACP. Rosa joined that year as the secretary. Later she met a woman named Virginia Durr in 1954. Virginia Durr helped Rosa attend a training. There, all people were treated equally. Rosa wanted everywhere to be as equal as the training.

Major accomplishments

One day after work, Rosa got on the bus from the front instead of the rear, since the rear was packed with blacks and the seats for the whites were open. The driver ordered Rosa get off the bus and re-enter from the rear. Rosa would not. The driver tried to pull her from the bus, but Rosa sat down in a seat for whites. Finally, the bus driver got her off the bus. Rosa wanted revenge and equal rights. In 1955, after another day's work, Rosa went on the bus to go home. The driver was the same one who made Rosa get off the bus. Rosa sat in the black and white section of the bus and then 4 whites came on the bus. The driver told Rosa and 3 other blacks to get out of the seats and give it to the whites. Rosa would not give the whites her seat. The driver called the police and Rosa was arrested. Even though Rosa was arrested, she had shown the blacks how to stand up to whites. After she was freed from jail, she and the NAACP decided to let white drivers know how much the blacks riders meant for their income. On december 5, 1955, the NAACP hung up posters telling blacks not to ride the bus that day. This lasted for almost a year. In 1956, blacks were ready to get back on the buses. Rosa Parks sat in one of the front seats. From then on, blacks could sit wherever they wanted.


Rosa Parks died in 2005 on october 24th of old age at 92 years old. Her coffin was brought to Washington,D.C., for people to come pay her their last respects. She was the first woman to be honored this way. Rosa was buried in Detroit. More than 4 thousand people attended her funeral. If it weren’t for Rosa Parks, there maybe would still be segregations.


Who was Rosa Parks?

McDonough, Yona Zeldis. Who Was Rosa Parks? New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 2010. Print.

"Rosa Parks Videos." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2013

"Rosa Parks." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2013.