Born on February 4, 1913, Rosa Parks became an important person in the fight for civil rights in American history. By refusing to give up her seat on a bus, she triggered a huge boycott of buses in Alabama.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks decided that she shouldn't have to move from her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. At the time, there was a law that required black people and white people to sit in different rows on the bus. White people sat in the front of the bus and black people had to sit in the back of the bus. When a white man asked her to move, she refused. Her decision caused her to be arrested and fined, but more importantly her decision helped to begin a movement in America to end legal segregation.
What is Segregation
According to the Encarta Dictionary, segregation is, "The practice of keeping ethnic, racial, religious, or gender groups separate, especially by enforcing the use of separate schools, transportation, housing, and other facilities, and usually discriminating against a minority group." In other words, segregation is an act of intolerance. It is when unfair laws are made by governments to separate people just because they are different from the rest of the people living in that society. These segregation laws or "Jim Crow" laws unfortunately were enforced in the southern United States between the 1890's and 1960's.
Accomplishments For Tolerance
In Rosa's daily life, she worked as a secretary for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and later was an advisor for the NAACP Youth Council. She tried to register to vote several times even though it was almost impossible for a black woman.
Rosa Parks showed how a peaceful protest can be used to fight for what is right. When she refused to move from her seat on the Montgomery city bus, she did not use violence to defend herself, she just simply refused to move from her seat. This action caused black people all over Montgomery, Alabama to boycott (not use) the buses for 382 days. The boycott didn't end until the U.S. Supreme Court said that segregated seating on the city's buses was against the law. Since this boycott was so successful, it led to protests demanding civil rights for blacks all across America.
Quotes by Rosa Parks
"Each person must live their life as a model for others."
"I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free."