Rosa Parks


Rosa Parks would rather to follow what she believed was right than follow the law. She has been called the mother of the civil rights movement, the woman who changed a nation(Celsi, par.5). She deserves these titles because of the great amount of courage It took her to defy custom and law, but she was able to uphold her personal rights and dignity, She inspired the African Americans in Montgomery Alabama to fight for their rights by staging one of the longest boycotts in history(Celsi, par.4). Rosa Parks courageously broke the law by refusing to give up her seat in the front of the bus to a white man because she was tired from a long day of work, and so tired of being discriminated against and she believed the law was unfair and unjust.


Born Rosa Louise McCauley on February 4, 1913, in Tusgee, Alabama, she was raised by her mother and grandparents in Tusgee and Montgomery(Celsi par.1). After attending segregated schools, she went to the All-black Alabama State College.(Albin par3). She was very educated and determined to make the most of herself. In 1932, She married Raymond parks, a barber, and both of them worked for the Local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Rosa became the local NAACP secretary in the 1950’s(Celsi par.2). She was very determined to further Civil rights


On December 1, 1955, as Parks was riding home from work, she was ordered by the bus driver to move from her seat so that a white man might sit(Celsi par.3). When she refused, she was arrested and charged with violating a local ordinance. She had to pay a fine of fourteen dollars.(Celsi par.3). Her case was the last straw for the blacks of Montgomery, and a city-wide boycott was organized to force the city to desegregate public transportation.(Celsi par.4).


During the boycott, groups were organized to take the boycotters to work, or wherever they needed to go, so that they wouldn’t have to take city busses(Celsi par.4). Blacks, and a few whites, organized peacefully together, and despite opposition from the city and state governments, they continued for382 days (Celsi par.4). The persistence in boycotting showed their determination to further Civil Rights.


A young, unknown minister by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. became involved and lectured the nation on the injustice of all that had happened to Rosa Parks(Celsi par.5). Because of this, people began to consider her point of view. He helped to convince the people of the city that what happened to Rosa was unjust. By the time the boycott ended, both Parks and King were national heroes.(Celsi par.5).


The case was taken to the supreme court to determine whether it was unconstitutional to order a black lady to give her seat to a white man (Celsi par.5). The supreme court ruled that segregation on city busses was unconstitutional, and all charges against Parks were dropped(Celsi par.5) The mass movement of non-violent social change that was started would last over decade, and would culminate in the civil rights act of 1964 and the Voting Act of 1965.


Parks had to give a lot up for what she believed was the right thing to do. Not only was she charged fourteen dollars, but because of the harassment Rosa Parks and her family received during and after the boycott, they moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1957(Albin par7). In 1994, she was attacked in her home by a young man who wanted money from her(Albin par.13). But still she doesn’t mind. She just prays for those who think what she did was wrong because she knows in her heart that it was the right thing to do(Albin par.13)


Today, Rosa Parks is one of the most well-known people in history. She has a job with congressman John Conyers, but continues to be involved in the civil rights struggle(Albin par10). She gives speeches has received many tributes for her dedication and inspiration; in 1980, she received the Martin Luther King Jr. nonviolent peace prize, and has established the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroitin 1987(Albin par10). She was also one of the select few to ever be awarded the congressional gold medal, the highest award bestowed by the US