Rosa Parks was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement best known for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa's arrest sparked a protest that resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Rosa was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913 to Leona and James McCauley. Her mother was a teacher and her father a carpenter. Rosa would later move to Montgomery, Alabama.
For a while, Rosa lived on her grandparent's farm. She attended the local African-American school where her mother was a teacher.
Rosa met Raymond Parks while living in Montgomery. Raymond was a successful barber. Rosa and Raymond married in 1932. At one point Rosa had to leave school to help take care of her ailing mother, however, she continued to work on her school and eventually earned a high school diploma.
Jim Crow Laws
Rosa lived during a time of racial segregation. Black and white people were often separated. This included things like separate schools, movie theatres, churches, restaurants, and drinking fountains.
Jim Crow laws were everywhere in the South.
Rosa feared the KKK as a child.
The Freedom Train came to Montgomery. The Freedom Train was not segregated. Rosa was inspired by the exhibition.
People in Line
People of all races standing in line together to board the Freedom Train.
Riding the Bus
On December 1, 1955 Rosa was riding the bus when she was asked to move from her seat to make room for a white person. She refused and was arrested.
For not moving, Rosa received a fine for 10 dollars which she refused to pay. She said the segregation law that she broke was not a legal law.
The bus diagram of where Rosa was sitting.
The police report filed when Rosa was arrested.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
To protest Rosa's arrest, black leaders began the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott was led by Martin Luther King, Jr. It lasted for 381 days.
People walked to work during the boycott.
President Barack Obama visiting the Rosa Parks Bus.
Rosa Parks Statue
President George Bush signing a bill creating the Rosa Parks statue.
Rosa with President Bill Clinton.
Credit: Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.
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