Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement. She is best known for playing a crucial role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social campaign against the racial segregation on public transport in Montgomery, Alabama.
At the time, the Southern United States operated under the ‘Jim Crow Law’; a set of laws introduced in the late 19th century to give African Americans ‘separate but equal’ treatment and status. However, there was no equality, whatsoever.
In 1877 – 1954 there was lots of segregation going on between Black and White people, this meant that Black people were not allowed to attend white-only schools and parks nor were they able to vote. In the face of such racism, Rosa decided to stand up to what she thought was right. Together with her husband Reymond, they joined the National Association for the Advancements of Colored People or known as NAACP, working towards the end of discrimination and segregation.
On 1st December 1955, Rosa Parks (aged 42 years old) rejected bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat ‘in the colored section’ to a white passenger, once the white section was full. This act consequently led her to be arrested, which sparked the black communities to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year. Her arrest lasted only a couple of hours and was bailed out by the president of the NAACP Edgar Nixon.
Facts about Rosa Parks
Great overview of her life and particularly pertinent given that it’s Black History Month this month!