"Get out! This man wants to sit here! GET OUT!!!"
The bus driver was yelling at Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old coming home from her hard work as a seamstress.
That one word made a big difference.
Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1913. Her parents, James and Leona McCauley, inspired and influenced her. They taught her that all people are the same, and should be treated that way.
Rosa Parks's grandparents were slaves when they were younger. They suffered a lot, especially her grandfather. They both agreed that blacks should be free. All people are the same!
When Rosa Parks grew up, she helped blacks as much as she could. White people treated blacks super bad, but busses were the worse of all. You could go to jail for not giving your seat to a white man!
On December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks was coming home from work, a white man didn't have a seat. The bus driver came up to Parks and yelled at her to get out, so the white man could sit there. Parks just quietly said, "No." That was all she said. She didn't move at all. The bus driver yelled at her, but she didn't move!
She was arrested, and had to get her fingerprints taken. Parks was put into a jail cell and locked in there. She said a silent prayer, then waited. Someone had seen Parks being arrested and called Edgear Daniel Nixon of NAACP (people who help colored people) . He came right away to the police station and paid for Parks release. She could leave, but she had to come to court for her trial on Monday.
Before the trial, on Sunday, people gathered to pray for Rosa Parks. Martin Luther King preached about the arrest of Parks. Everyone in the church decided to walk to work, school, anywhere and everywhere! They would not ride the bus, they were going on a boycott.
On Monday morning, Rosa Parks got up early to go to her trial. At the trial, the judge found her guilty. But Parks and her lawyer did not agree with him. They decided to go to a higher court, the Supreme Court.
At the Supreme Court, the judge did not find Rosa Parks guilty. The Supreme Court told the bus company that they had to let black people sit anywhere they wanted. Rosa Parks was glad! They fight she had fought was over, and she had won it, but colored people would still be treated unfairly at times.
Rosa Parks married Ray Parks in 1932. In 1986, Rosa Parks received an Ellis Island achievements because of her work with woman's rights organizations. She is still alive today.