Rosa Parks

Civil Rights Activist

The mother of the civil rights movement.

"Each person must live their life as a model for others." -Rosa Parks
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Rosa Parks' Early Life

  • Rosa Parks born Rosa Louise McCauley was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913.
  • She moved to Pine Level at the age of 2 and her parents seperated shortly after that.
  • Rosa's mother was a teacher so education was valued in her family.
  • At the age of 11 she attended school but had to drop out at the age of 16 to take care of her dying grandmother and shortly after that she had to take care of her chronically ill mother.
  • At the age of 19 she married Raymond Parks who was a barber and a long time member of the NAACP.
  • With her husbands support she earned her high school diploma at the age of 20.
  • In 1943 Rosa joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP as a secretary and youth leader.

Rosa Parks' Arrest

  • On December 1, 1955 at the age of 42 Rosa was communting home from a long day of work using the bus system.
  • Rosa took a seat in the colored section of the bus. When white passengers got onto the bus there were no seats in the white section.
  • The bus driver asked some of the black people to give up there seats most did but Rosa said no.
  • In her autobiography Parks wrote, "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."
  • Two police officers eventually approached the stopped bus and placed Parks in custody.
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Rosa Parks Interview

Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • Parks was bailed out by Nixon head of the NAACP who convinced Rosa that she would be the perfect plaintiff and she agreed to do it.
  • On December 5th she was found guilty of violating segregation laws, and was given a suspended sentence and fined $10 plus $4 in court costs.
  • That same day is when the boycott againt the bus system began.
  • The boycott lasted 381 days and on December 20, 1956 enforcement of segregation on public buses was lifted.
  • Because of the boycotting Rosa and her husband lost their jobs and were being threatened so they decided to move to Detroit in 1957.

Rosa Parks After the Boycott

  • After moving to Detroit she became a deaconess in the african methodist episcopal church.
  • In 1987 Rosa co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institiute for Self-Development with Ms.Elaine Eason Steele in honer of her husband Raymond (1903-1977), to serve Detroits youth.
  • Mrs. Parks received more than forty-three honorary doctorate degrees, including one from SOKA UNIVERSITY, Tokyo Japan, hundreds of plaques, certificates, citations, awards and keys to many cities. Among them are the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal, the UAW’s Social Justice Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non – Violent Peace Prize and the ROSA PARKS PEACE PRIZE in 1994.
  • In September 1996 President Bill Clinton gave Rosa Parks the METAL OF FREEDOM the highest award given to a civilian citizen.
  • She was voted by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most Influential people of the 20th century.
  • A movie based on Rosa Parks called “The Rosa Parks Story” was filmed in Montgomery, Alabama May 2001, an aired February 24, 2002 on the CBS television network.
  • Rosa also wrote four books including her autobiography.
  • Mrs. Parks died on October 24, 2005 at the age of 92 of natural causes.
Neville Brothers - Sister Rosa