Women of the World Wednesday: Rosa Parks (United States)

rosa parks yo

On February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, AL, Rosa Louise Mcauley was born. Rosa and her mother moved to live with her grandparents after her parents had been separated, and throughout her youth, she experienced much hate against African Americans. She went to a segregated school, where she and other African Americans had to walk to school and use the old building, as white students received transportation and a new building to learn in. Her grandfather actually had to stand outside with a shotgun once as the Klu Klux Klan marched down their street. 

Later, in 1932, she met an named Raymond Parks, who worked for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As you could imagine, all of this must have had an effect on Rosa, as she became a famous Civil Rights Activist.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa caused so much change to the world as we knew it. She had just gotten off of work, wanting to just go home, when a few white people piled on the bus. There were not enough seats in the white section, so the driver moved the sign separating the sections back a row, asking the African Americans sitting in those seats to move. The other three obliged, quickly standing and moving to the back, but Rosa stood her ground. When the driver questioned her choice to not stand, she replied, “I don’t think I should have to stand up.” the driver called the police and had Rosa arrested, which began the 381 day civil rights protest called the Montgomery Bus Boycott, lasting from December 5, 1955 to December 20, 1956. Eventually the court agreed to integrate the buses, and Rosa Parks, along with Martin Luther King Jr, became prominent Civil Rights activists.

Parks was awarded with many awards along her journey, including the Spingarn Medal, the highest award from the NAACP, and the Martin Luther King Jr Award. President Bill Clinton even gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom on September 9, 1996. Today, she is remembered by many people through a museum at the place of her arrest, a park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and even a movie created in 2002. She even has a day dedicated to her, Rosa Parks day, which takes place on December 1st every year (February 4th for some states). This year, everyone should go out of their way on December 1st and celebrate the way we live today because of her bravery.

rosa perks

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