"I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people."
- Rosa Parks
About Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks changed the world by refusing to give in. She didn’t worry that because she was a Black woman in the 1950s her voice and actions didn’t matter. Her BRAVERY and belief in what was right and fair guided her to legendary status.
Long before her famous bus ride, Rosa Parks grew up in a family that valued education. Her mother was a teacher, so it was important to Rosa to get her high school diploma. After taking some time off to care for her family, she returned to school at the age of 19 to complete her education.
On December 1st, 1955 Rosa rode the bus home from her department store job in Montgomery, Alabama. At the time, buses were segregated. The front half of the bus was reserved for white riders and the back for Black riders. Rosa was seated in the middle of the bus, in the first row of the Black section. As the bus became full, the driver asked Rosa and 3 other passengers to give up their seats when a white man got on board and there was nowhere for him to sit. The other passengers complied, but Rosa didn’t budge. She was so over it! BRAVELY she held her ground against the bus driver. Eventually, the police were called and she was arrested.
“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired,” Rosa wrote in her autobiography, “but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
The events of December 1st started a boycott of the buses in Montgomery and a lawsuit that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Rosa’s BRAVE choice that day led to the ending of bus segregation. By saying “no,” and standing up — err — SITTING DOWN for what she believed in Rosa changed the course of history.