Rosa Parks, The Woman Who Changed a Nation, is dead.
When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man forty years ago on December 1, 1955, she was tired and weary from a long day of work.
Rosa Parks was physically tired, but no more than you or I after a long day’s work. In fact, under other circumstances, she would have probably given up her seat willingly to a child or elderly person. But this time Parks was tired of the treatment she and other African Americans received every day of their lives, what with the racism, segregation, and Jim Crow laws of the time.
The boycott raised an unknown clergyman named Martin Luther King, Jr., to national prominence and resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation on city buses. Over the next four decades, she helped make her fellow Americans aware of the history of the civil rights struggle. This pioneer in the struggle for racial equality is the recipient of innumerable honors, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize. She is a living symbol of courage and determination and an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere.
The rest of Parks’ story is American history…her arrest and trial, a 381-day Montgomery bus boycott, and, finally, the Supreme Court’s ruling in November 1956 that segregation on transportation is unconstitutional.
Rosa Parks has been called the “mother of the civil rights movement” and one of the most important citizens of the 20th century.
Fifty years later, despite some tremendous gains, Parks feels, “we still have a long way to go in improving the race relations in this country.”
92 years old, Rosa Parks dies the 24th October 2005.
Websites speaking about Rosa Parks:
Rosa Parks Portal, the links to Rosa Park sites;
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, an USA Chonology blog;
the Rosa and Raymond Parks, an Institute for Self Development;
Academy of Achievment, a museum of living history;
SCOLASTIC, a site serving school teachers;
grand times, serving seniors;
The Times100, the most important people of the century;
Rosa Parks 1955
Gilliam, Thomas J. “The Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56.” in: The Walking City: The Montgomery Bus Boycott. David J. Garrow, ed (Brooklyn; Carlson Publishing, 1989), p. 191-301;
Morris, Aldon D. The Orgins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change. (New York; The Free Press, 1986).