Rosa Parks

Civil Rights Activist

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Early Life

Rosa Parks was born on February 04, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. She was the first of two children born to James and Leona (Edwards) McCauley. Park's parents separated when she was young. Her mother raised her and her brother on her maternal grandparents parents farm. Rosa Parks received her early education at a one-room blacks-only schoolhouse where classes were only held for five months a year so that students could work the fields. Her life was full of violence like lynchings and burnings. She left school at 16 to take care of her ailing grandmother. In 1932, she married Raymond Parks who was active in the Civil Rights Movement.

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Getting involved

Rosa Parks became politically active as well. She was serving as the secretary of the chapter in Montgomery, Alabama and was a member of the National Association for the Advancement for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) by 1943. "On Thursday, December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was riding home on the Cleveland Avenue bus from her job at Montgomery Fair, a downtown Montgomery department store where she worked as an assistant tailor. The first ten seats on the city buses, which were always reserved for whites, soon filled up. She sat down next to a man in the front of the section designated for blacks. A white male got on and looked for a seat. In such situations, the black section was made smaller. The driver, who was white, requested that the four blacks move. The others complied, but Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat. The driver called the police."

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Choices and Results

She was taken into custody and $14. Parks was eventually convicted of violating segregation laws, but did not accept the situation. She helped challenge the laws that allowed such segregation with the guidance of civil right lawyers. The incident sparked a 13-month boycott of the buses in Montgomery by African Americans organized by the Montgomery Improvement Association and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Supreme Court declared this type of segregation illegal in 1956. The declaration sparked the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Rosa Parks was regarded as a hero and spent her whole of her life as of the movement.

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In her words

Afterwards, Park stated, ”I didn't consider myself breaking any segregation laws ... because he was extending what we considered our section of the bus" Some of her most famous words were, ”Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” and, ”Each person must live their life as a model for others.

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Parks co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development in 1987. The group sponsored many programs to educate about the Civil Rights Movement. She received many honors of her life, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1999. Sadly, Parks was dismissed from her job, received threats, and was hassled, as were many who supported the bus boycott and the Civil Rights Movement. Her health was also negatively affected. In addition, she and her husband left Alabama and moved first to Virginia and later to Detroit, Michigan, with Parks mother in 1957. The incident that pushed the Civil Rights Movement forward showed the power of non-violent action and made her a national figure. Parks was chosen to be a symbol for the cause because she was a model citizen in Montgomery. Rosa Parks died of natural causes on October 24, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan, United States.

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Words for her

Several people look up to Rosa Parks and her bravery. Many of them have said marvelous things about her. One of these people said that, "She sat down in order that we might stand up. Paradoxically, her imprisonment opened the doors for our long journey to freedom." Somebody else has said that "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."

Annotated Biography

  1. "Rosa Parks." Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016.
    This site offers many interesting facts and pictures about Rosa Parks.
  2. "Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2015. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016.
    This is a very famous picture of Rosa Parks that shows her in her hometown.
  3. "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 also a very famous photo taken when Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus.
  4. "Rosa Parks Receives Congressional Gold Medal." UPI Photo Collection. 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 9 May 2016.
    This image shows Parks when she received the Congressional Gold Medal.
  5. Garrow, David J."Parks, Rosa Louise." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 4 May 2016.
    This site also provides enormous amounts of useful information and marvelous pictures.
  6. “Rosa Parks in the front of a Montgomery bus." Online Picture. World Book Advanced. World Book,2016. Web. 4 May 2016.
    This picture shows Rosa Parks in the bus. Weariness of a days work is shown in her face.
    This site provides lots of real and interesting quotes.
    The map of Alabama was found on this website.
    This site provided the photo of Rosa Parks and a quote.
  10. "Rosa Parks." Notable Black American Women. Gale, 1992. Biography in Context. Web. 5 May 2016.
    There was lots of useful and interesting facts and information found here.