ROSA PARKS

ROSA PARKS

ROSA PARKS

* Born 4th Feb 1913

* Died 24th Oct 2005

* American activist in the civil rights movement

* Best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott

* Parks act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the movement.

* She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation

* She organised and collaborated with civil rights larder such at Martin Luther King Jr 

 * On Thursday, December 1, 1955, the 42-year-old Rosa Parks was commuting home from a long day of work at the Montgomery Fair department store by bus. Black residents of Montgomery often avoided municipal buses if possible because they found the Negroes-in-back policy so demeaning.

* Nonetheless, 70 percent or more riders on a typical day were black, and on this day Rosa Parks was one of them.

* At one point on the route, a white man had no seat because all the seats in the designated “white” section were taken. So the driver told the riders in the four seats of the first row of the “colored” section to stand, in effect adding another row to the “white” section. The three others obeyed. Parks did not.

* “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired,” wrote Parks in her autobiography, “but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

* Eventually, two police officers approached the stopped bus, assessed the situation and placed Parks in custody.

* On December 5, Parks was found guilty of violating segregation laws, given a suspended sentence and fined $10 plus $4 in court costs.

* Nixon and some ministers decided to take advantage of the momentum, forming the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to manage the boycott, and they elected Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.–new to Montgomery and just 26 years old—as the MIA’s president.

* King’s homes were bombed. The violence didn’t deter the boycotters or their leaders, however, and the drama in Montgomery continued to gain attention from the national and international press.

* On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional; the boycott ended December 20, a day after the Court’s written order arrived in Montgomery. Parks—who had lost her job and experienced harassment all year—became known as “the mother of the civil rights movement.