The date was December 1, 1955.ï¿½ The place was in Montgomery, Alabama on a Cleveland Avenue bus route.ï¿½ After a long day at work, a 42-year-old seamstress leaves her job at a department store and boards a bus.ï¿½ She recognized the driver due to a previous altercation involving Rosa’s refusal to get back off the bus and go to the back door after paying.ï¿½ She decided to ride anyway.ï¿½ Her purpose was simple to get home.ï¿½ The Jim Crow laws had been in effect in Alabama, which caused the separation of the African Americans in public transportation, restaurants, and all other public accommodations.ï¿½ This discrimination kept African Americans from having the jobs and homes they deserved.ï¿½ Rosa passed five rows of seats marked “whites only”ï¿½ and settled in toward the middle of the bus.ï¿½ The moment came when there was a white man standing, this being the case the African American riders were told to move to the back of the bus, and Rosa was demanded by the white man to move.ï¿½ She did not move.ï¿½
This simple gesture would unbelievable mark history.ï¿½ ” I didn’t know why I refused to stand up when they told me, but the real reason of myï¿½ notï¿½ standing up was I felt I had the right to be treated as any other passenger, we had endured that kind of treatment long enough.”ï¿½ After her arrest, a late night meeting resulted in 35,000 handbills being sent out to all the black schools, asking everyone to stay off ofï¿½the buses in protest to Rosa’s arrest and trial.ï¿½ï¿½ This started a 381-day boycott on the bus systems led by Rev. King.ï¿½ Rosa had lost her job at the department store, but that did not stop her.ï¿½ This boycott led to the Supreme Court ruling in November of 1956, that segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional.ï¿½ï¿½
Rosa Parks, being called the mother of the civil rights movement, made history over fifty years ago with that crucial bus ride.ï¿½ Rosa had already been working hard as a secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for ten years before.ï¿½ The NAACP is considered the most significant civil rights organization.ï¿½ The NAACP has always fought for the rights of our African American citizens so their voices can be heard.ï¿½ï¿½
While spending most of her time in Detroit, Rosa Parks has done much more for civil rights since then like herï¿½own organization called The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.ï¿½ With special programs designed for young people of all races to learn and see where civil rights events took place.ï¿½ Education is important to Rosa Parks; she encourages children to stay in school, study hard, and to believe in themselves.ï¿½ Being born in 1918 to a school teacher was a blessing.ï¿½ Her mother taught her how to read at an early age.ï¿½ In her book, The Quiet Storm, she explains the help she had in starting the civil Rights movement.ï¿½ She insists she could not have done it alone.ï¿½ Rosa Parks was also recognized in Time Magazine for being one of the Top 20 hero’s and icons in the twentieth century.
Rosa Parks died on Monday, October 24, 2005.ï¿½ Sheï¿½diedï¿½atï¿½her homeï¿½from natural causes.ï¿½ She was 92.ï¿½ The legacy she leaves behind will touch many generations to come.ï¿½ “For in one simple moment she achieved greatness, not for herself but for her way of life.”