Rosa Louise Parks (neé McCauley) was born on February 4th, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. When she was just two years old, her parents divorced. Rosa and her mother moved to Pine Level, where he grandparents lived. Her grandparents were both former slaves and firm believers in racial equality.
Her mother was a teacher and thus, valued education. Rosa studied high school and the blacks-only Alabama State Teachers College. She had to quit school at 16 to take care of her grandmother and mother. Growing up in the segregated south was painful.
In 1932, she married Raymond Parks, a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She was 19 at that time. A year later, she graduated high school. Fast forward, in 1943, Rosa Parks also decided to join NAACP.
Rosa Parks’ activism
On December 1st, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white citizen. She noted that she does not think she should do so. For this, the bus driver called the police, which arrested her. Further, they charged her for violating the Mongomery city code. The local director of NAACP, E.D. Nixon, convinced Parks that her situation could spark a boycott. Later, she said, “All I was doing was trying to get home from work.“
Hence, a year-long boycott of buses started on December 5th, 1955. On that day, Rosa Parks received a suspended sentence and 14 dollars fine. Besides, one of the leaders of the protest was just 26-year-old Martin Luther King jr.
On November 13th, 1956, the US Supreme Court deemed bus segregation was unconstitutional. A month later, on December 20th, the Montgomery bus boycott ended. Yet, the year left a great aftertaste in Rosa Parks. She lost her job and experienced threats and beyond the pale racism.
Hence, Rosa Parks decided to leave Alabama and move to Detroit, Michigan. There she worked as an assistant to Congressman John Conyer of the Democratic party until 1988. The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks, died on October 24th, 2005, in Detroit, USA.
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”Rosa Parks