Honoring Rosa Parks

Friday, February 10, 2023

In recognition of Black History month let's remember the iconic civil rights leader Rosa Parks.  

     Rosa Parks was born on February 4th, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama.  Her parents were James and Leona McCauley. Rosa's parents seperated when she was only 2 years old, that's when  her mother moved the family to her parents farm, Rose and Sylvester Edwards.  Rosa's grandparents were strong advocates for racial equality as they were formerly enslaved people.  So Rosa had a strong background and support at a young age for fighting against discrimination, which was widespread in the South at that time.

     At the age of 19 Rosa met Raymond Parks, he was a barber and an active member of the NAACP.  They were married in 1932.  In 1943 Rosa was actively involved in civil rights issues, she joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP.

     On December 1st, 1955, after working all day as a seamstress in a Montgomery department store, Rosa boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home.  At that time everything was segregated, including public transportation.  There was a line dividing the bus in half, white passengers in the front and black passengers in the back.  Rosa Parks took a seat behind the dividing line along with 3 other black passengers and settled in for the ride home.  Soon the bus began to fill up, so the bus driver moved the dividing line back a few rows and told Rosa Parks and the three other black passengers to stand up and move to the back of the bus.   The three black passengers complied with the drivers request, but Rosa Parks stayed in her seat and refused to move!  She deciced it was time to make a stand for equal rights, she had had enough of the discrimination that she dealt with her whole life.

     The police were called and Rosa Parks was arrested at the scene for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger.  She was taken to police headquarters where she was fingerprinted and booked.  Later that night she was released on bail.  And so began the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  It lasted for 381 days and ended with a Supreme court ruling declaring segreation on public transit systems to be unconstitutional!

     Thank you Rosa Parks for your courage and standing up to discrimination!  You have definetly earned your place in history!




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