Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama February 4, 1913. She was an African American Civil Rights activist. She was also well known as “the first lady of Civil Rights,” and “mother of the freedom movement” (Rosa parks biography, 2013). She is a well-known and respected as a woman, because of her inspirational, yet defensive action. Parks is famous for her refusal to obey the bus driver who demanded that she relinquish her seat to a white man. Mrs.
Parks was charged with violation of the city code that dealt with segregation, though she technically did not violate the law (Makow, 2005)Although she acted alone with her action, her defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America. Her ensuing arrest and trial provoked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the most immense and successful widespread movements against racial segregation in history. Rosa Parks was raised in Pine Level, Alabama where segregation was very extreme. She walked to and from school every day (Rosa Parks Book).
There were no school busses that went to either her home or the school (Rosa Parks Book). Mrs. Parks attended the Montgomery Industrial School for girls, Booker T Washington High School, and Alabama State College. With the support of Raymond, she was able to attend school again and obtain her high school diploma in 1933. She met and married Raymond Park in 1933 as her first and last mirage even after he passed. Rosa Parks had always carried herself as a hard believer knowing the wrong in segregation (“The story behind,” 2012).
Though she was very tiresome of being mistreated, she always believed that she was just as good as any other, even the white people who treated her like anything less of a human. One afternoon, Rosa Parks paid her fare to go the Cleveland Avenue Bus in downtown Montgomery. She was on her way home from work, the Montgomery Fair department store, when she had just so happen to get on the bus with the same bus driver from thirteen years earlier, who had kicked her off the bus and left her in the rain (“The story behind,” 2012).
She sat in an empty seat in the first row of back seats reserved for blacks in the “colored” section of the bus. It was near the middle of the bus and directly behind the ten seats reserved for white passengers only. As the bus driver proceeded on to the third stop, all of the reserved seats for the white passengers were full. When the bus arrived at the Empire theatre, several white passengers boarded and all the “white-only” seats were taken.
In the 1900’s, the city of Montgomery, Alabama passed a city ordinance that allowed bus drivers to segregate their passengers by race. However, no passengers were to be required to give up their seat and stand if the bus was crowded and no other seats were available (Ogletree, 2006). Over some time, most bus drivers had adopted the implementation of demanding the black riders to relinquish their seats to the white passengers boarding the bus with no seats available.
On December 1, 1955, when Rosa was 42 years old, she was arrested for not giving up her seat in the black section of the bus to a white man who had just boarded on the bus (Ogletree, 2006). The driver, Blake, noted that the front of the bus was filled with white passengers and there were two or three men standing, which moved the “colored” section sign behind Parks and demanded that four black people give up their seats in the middle section so that the white passengers could sit down.
(Rosa parks biography, 2013). The bus consisted of about thirty six seats per bus: the front row were for “whites only,” the middle were for both, and the back seats were for blacks which came with a rear door that they had to enter and exit from. Parks only agreed to challenge the segregationist law in court after she consulted with her husband Raymond, her mother, and her attorney. She was arrested for taking her stand.
The bus incident led to the formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association, which was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Association called for a boycott of the city-owned bus company (Makow, 2005). The boycott lasted for about 382 days and it brought such an inspirational and mass attention to the world. An anonymous agreement was made that the “colored” people would boycott the bus until fair seating was arranged and that they would hire more African American men to be bus drivers as well.
Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks encouraged blacks and white of the same to find a wide range of nonviolent ways to protest the segregation issue (“The story behind,” 2012). The Montgomery Advertiser supported the boycott by helping spread the word out to many. Because seventy-five percent of the bus riders were “colored,” the boycott was such a successful and a significant movement that it ended segregation throughout Montgomery and other places around the United States as well (Rosa parks biography, 2013).
After the boycott, Rosa Parks became such an iconic and leading spokesperson of the civil rights movement of the U. S. In 1987, Rosa distinguished the Institute for Self Development for young people. In 1992, she published her first book; Rosa Parks, My Story. Rosa Parks also continued to be active and involved in the civil rights struggle, giving speeches and attending marches even after all that has happened (Rosa parks biography, 2013).
She had received much recognition, awards, and was honored many times for her outstanding movement. Her courage changed the lives of many and impacted the history of many generations significantly. On October 4, 2005, Rosa Parks passed at the age of ninety-two with such a very well respected and memorable funeral. After she passed, her casket was placed in the rotunda of the United States capitol for two days for the world to pay their respect (Rosa parks biography, 2013).
She was the first and only woman, but the second African American to lie in the state capitol, which is an honor reserved presidents of the U. S. After the funeral, Parks’ casket was put on an antique, gold-trimmed, horse-drawn carriage for the seven-mile procession to the cemetery. Her body was to be entombed in a mausoleum along with those of her husband and mother. Rosa Parks was described as “both a warrior and a woman of peace who never stopped working toward a future of racial equality; a woman and mother of freedom movement (“The story behind,” 2012). ”