The History of Rosa Parks
By Manal Layachi
Volume 1 Issue 6
March 18, 2021
Image provided by Her Agenda
Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her parents split up and she lived on her grandparent’s farm. Living in Montgomery made Parks tougher and stronger. Parks was very smart, and she started laboratory school for her secondary education, but she was forced to drop out because her grandmother was ill.
During this time, there was a lot of segregation. Blacks and whites used separate things like public bathrooms. Whites got better things than Blacks. This was only because of their skin color. One day, Parks met Raymond Parks. This was the first activist she encountered. In 1933, Parks returned to school and got her high school diploma. This was a great accomplishment because very few Black people in Alabama got this degree.
In December of 1943, Rosa Parks joined the NAACP. She helped establish the Committee for Equal Justice. In 1948, Parks became the Alabama state secretary of the NAACP. Everything was going very well, but on December 1, 1955 something huge happened.
Parks was on a bus when the driver told her to give up her seat to a white man. She refused to give up her seat and got arrested. The news spread, and the Black community began a boycott of Montgomery buses. They refused to go on buses, and they walked to work or any place they needed to go to.
Parks got arrested again for boycotting and was quickly released. She decided to flee with her family to Detroit. She fought for voting rights. On August 6, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.
Parks won a lot of awards. In August of 1979, the NAACP presented her with the Spingarn Medal. On January 14, 1980 Martin Luther King Jr. awarded Parks with the Nonviolent Peace Prize. On September 15, 1996 Bill Clinton awarded Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On June 15, 1999 she received the Congressional Gold Medal.
Sadly, on October 5, 2005 Parks died at the age of 92. Rosa Parks changed the world for the better. One of her best quotes is "You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”