The Life & Legacy of Rosa Parks

The woman who started a movement to end Jim Crow and allow African-Americans to have the same rights as any other American. The woman’s name is Rosa Parks. Thesis: This African-American civil rights activist’s refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus helped spark the civil rights movement of the 1950s. Preview: Today I’ll tell you about Rosa Park’s life before the bus boycott, what she did during the boycott, how her actions fueled the civil rights movement, and then the personal cost she paid for her actions. Credibility:

Much of my information I’ll give you today came from Herbert Kohl’s book entitled “She would not be moved” as well as a Washington Post article called “Alabama teacher laid groundwork for civil rights activism. ” (Transition: Just last week, America lost a brave woman whose impact began the civil rights movements. Yet her story began in Tuskegee, Alabama. ) Body: I. Life before the bus boycott A. Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1913 B. Parks said, “ Back then we didn’t have any civil rights.

It was just a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl, hearing the Klan riding at night and hearing a lynching and being afraid that the house would burn down. ” C. She attended Alabama State Teacher’s College D. She held a variety of jobs, in 1943 became one of the first women to join the Montgomery Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (also known as the NAACP) Parks wanted blacks to have opportunities that were not available to her, and in 1955 she did a simple act that shook a stronghold of segregation. ) II. The bus incident A. On Dec. 1, 1955 this unknown seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her bus seat in the middle of the bus to a white passenger. B. This was during the age of Jim Crow when front bus rows were for whites only. 1. Jim Crow also meant separate water fountains for white and colored people. 2. It also meant that blacks couldn’t eat at certain white restaurants. C.

There were laws that required blacks to leave their seats when all the seats in the front rows were taken so that whites could sit down D. Parks refused to give up her seat to a white and so was arrested and fined for Violating a city ordinance requiring whites and blacks to sit in separate rows on buses. III. The Movement (Parks allowed black leaders to use her arrest to spark a boycott of the bus system. ) A. A young Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was chosen president of an organization to run the bus boycott.

B. Parks was surprised so many people felt like her- they were sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens. C. For more than a year, 382 days to be exact, thousands of blacks refused to ride Montgomery buses. D. Blacks learned that when they supported each other, they had a voice. E. The boycott ended when the U. S. Supreme Court declared segregated seating on buses was unconstitutional. (But this landmark legal victory would not come without a personal cost to Rosa Parks) IV.

After the Movement A. Parks lost her job as a seamstress as a result of the Montgomery boycott. B. She was heralded as a troublemaker by some, and heroine by others. C. In 1999 she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. D. She died Oct. 24 of this year. (In conclusion…) In conclusion, most historians date the beginning of the civil rights movement in the U. S. to the day, December 1, 1955 when a petite woman named Rosa Parks did a simple, but courageous act. This is why she’s called “the mother of the civil rights movement. Her contribution to help African Americans and in turn, all Americans to be treated fairly has been recognized throughout the world. Her funeral was attended by presidents and world leaders. In fact, she was the first woman in American history to lie in state at the Capitol, an honor usually reserved for presidents of the U. S. So if you ever wonder whether one person can make a difference, think of the 38-year-old seamstress who sparked the civil rights movement and you’ll know the answer. Rosa Parks’ life proves that one person can make a difference and shape the course of a nation.

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