Rosa Parks - Wikipedia. Rosa Louise Mc. Cauley Parks (February 4, 1. Blake's order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation.
Others had taken similar steps, including Bayard Rustin in 1. Gayle 1. 95. 6 lawsuit (Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie Mc. Donald, and Mary Louise Smith) who were arrested in Montgomery for not giving up their bus seats months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, although eventually her case became bogged down in the state courts while the Browder v.
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Gayle case succeeded. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement.
At the time, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. She had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for training activists for workers' rights and racial equality. She acted as a private citizen . Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards. Her situation also opened doors. Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she briefly found similar work.
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From 1. 96. 5 to 1. John Conyers, an African- American US Representative.
She was also active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US. After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and continued to insist that the struggle for justice was not over and there was more work to be done.
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Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1. Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2. US government official to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda. Early years. Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise Mc.
Cauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1. Leona (n. She was of African ancestry, though one of her great- grandfathers was Scots- Irish and one of her great- grandmothers was a slave of Native American descent. When her parents separated, she moved with her mother to Pine Level, just outside the state capital, Montgomery. She grew up on a farm with her maternal grandparents, mother, and younger brother Sylvester.
They all were members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), a century- old independent black denomination founded by free blacks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the early nineteenth century. Mc. Cauley attended rural schools. As a student at the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery, she took academic and vocational courses. Parks went on to a laboratory school set up by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes for secondary education, but dropped out in order to care for her grandmother and later her mother, after they became ill. Under the white- established Jim Crow laws, passed after Democrats regained control of southern legislatures, racial segregation was imposed in public facilities and retail stores in the South, including public transportation.
Bus and train companies enforced seating policies with separate sections for blacks and whites. School bus transportation was unavailable in any form for black schoolchildren in the South, and black education was always underfunded. Parks recalled going to elementary school in Pine Level, where school buses took white students to their new school and black students had to walk to theirs: I'd see the bus pass every day..
But to me, that was a way of life; we had no choice but to accept what was the custom. The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world. When the Ku Klux Klan marched down the street in front of their house, Parks recalls her grandfather guarding the front door with a shotgun.
Its faculty was ostracized by the white community. Repeatedly bullied by white children in her neighborhood, Parks often fought back physically. Rosa took numerous jobs, ranging from domestic worker to hospital aide.
At her husband's urging, she finished her high school studies in 1. African Americans had a high school diploma.
Despite the Jim Crow laws and discrimination by registrars, she succeeded in registering to vote on her third try. In December 1. 94. Parks became active in the Civil Rights Movement, joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and was elected secretary. She worked for the local NAACP leader Edgar Nixon, even though he maintained that . Parks and other civil rights activists organized the .
The notorious Scottsboro case had been brought to prominence by the Communist Party. Sometime soon after 1. Maxwell Air Force Base, which, despite its location in Montgomery, Alabama, did not permit racial segregation because it was federal property. She rode on its integrated trolley. Speaking to her biographer, Parks noted, .
Politically liberal, the Durrs became her friends. There Parks was mentored by the veteran organizer Septima Clark. The featured speaker was T. Howard, a black civil rights leader from Mississippi who headed the Regional Council of Negro Leadership. Parks was deeply saddened and angry at the news, particularly because Till's case had garnered much more attention than any of the cases she and the Montgomery NAACP had worked on. Conductors were empowered to assign seats to achieve that goal.
According to the law, no passenger would be required to move or give up his seat and stand if the bus was crowded and no other seats were available. Over time and by custom, however, Montgomery bus drivers adopted the practice of requiring black riders to move when there were no white- only seats left. The first four rows of seats on each Montgomery bus were reserved for whites. The sections were not fixed but were determined by placement of a movable sign. Black people could sit in the middle rows until the white section filled; if more whites needed seats, blacks were to move to seats in the rear, stand, or, if there was no room, leave the bus. Black people could not sit across the aisle in the same row as white people. The driver could move the .
If white people were already sitting in the front, black people had to board at the front to pay the fare, then disembark and reenter through the rear door. For years, the black community had complained that the situation was unfair. She then moved to her seat but driver James F.
Blake told her to follow city rules and enter the bus again from the back door. Parks exited the vehicle and waited for the next bus, determined never to ride with Blake again. Lackey. After working all day, Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus, a General Motors. Old Look bus belonging to the Montgomery City Lines.
She paid her fare and sat in an empty seat in the first row of back seats reserved for blacks in the . Near the middle of the bus, her row was directly behind the ten seats reserved for white passengers. Initially, she did not notice that the bus driver was the same man, James F. Blake, who had left her in the rain in 1. As the bus traveled along its regular route, all of the white- only seats in the bus filled up. The bus reached the third stop in front of the Empire Theater, and several white passengers boarded. Blake noted that two or three white passengers were standing, as the front of the bus had filled to capacity.
Years later, in recalling the events of the day, Parks said, . We didn't move at the beginning, but he says, 'Let me have these seats.' And the other three people moved, but I didn't.
When recalling the incident for Eyes on the Prize, a 1. Civil Rights Movement, Parks said, . I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then.
No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in. As the officer took her away, she recalled that she asked, . Robinson believed it important to seize the opportunity and stayed up all night mimeographing over 3. The Women's Political Council was the first group to officially endorse the boycott. On Sunday, December 4, 1. Montgomery Bus Boycott were announced at black churches in the area, and a front- page article in the Montgomery Advertiser helped spread the word. At a church rally that night, those attending agreed unanimously to continue the boycott until they were treated with the level of courtesy they expected, until black drivers were hired, and until seating in the middle of the bus was handled on a first- come basis.
The next day, Parks was tried on charges of disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. The trial lasted 3.
After being found guilty and fined $1. In a 1. 99. 2 interview with National Public Radio's Lynn Neary, Parks recalled: I did not want to be mistreated, I did not want to be deprived of a seat that I had paid for.
I had plenty to do without having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn't hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became. The handbill read,We are..
Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial .. You can afford to stay out of school for one day. If you work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown- ups, don't ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off the buses Monday. Some rode in carpools, while others traveled in black- operated cabs that charged the same fare as the bus, 1.
Most of the remainder of the 4. That evening after the success of the one- day boycott, a group of 1.