On December 1, 1955, African-American Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her bus seat to a white passenger. One year later, on December 20, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated bus seating illegal. During that year, the forty-two year Montgomery seamstress lead a peaceful bus boycott that became a model for other civil rights protests.
Get face-to-face with Rosa Parks in my pick-of-the-day site from the Academy of Achievement. The biography and photo gallery are both excellent, but my favorite clicks are the Parks interview (available in text, audio or video) and the Black History Month lesson plans (look in the left-hand column under Teachers.) You'll find plenty of other heroes to browse while you are here. Look for the list of Academy of Achievement honorees that are related to Parks, and further down the sidebar you'll see a list of the most popular.
In the months before Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white man, several other black women had also been arrested for similar incidents. Why was it Park's refusal that lead to the Montgomery bus boycott? Learn more about the boycott and its place in the civil rights movement in this online special published by the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper. Best click is the interactive time line (covering from 1954 to 1957) with embedded video clips.
"Mrs. Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley, February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She was the first child of James and Leona Edwards McCauley." In 1987, Parks established The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute to carry on her work encouraging youth to "reach their highest potential." Visit the Institute web page for her biography, a time line of her life, and to learn about the Pathways to Freedom program that teaches the history of American civil rights.
The PBS special "Eyes on the Prize: The Story of the Movement" covers the civil rights movement by focusing on twenty-six events. The Montgomery Bus Boycott is event number two. Explore it through photos, music, video and press clippings at this website built as a companion to the TV special. Don't miss Context (what else was happening in 1956) , the Rosa Parks profile (linked from the first paragraph) and the classroom activities (click on Teachers in the left-hand nav.)
The Rosa Parks section of Scholastic's"Culture & Change: Black History in America" includes a Parks interview and in-depth coverage of the bus boycott and the subsequent 1956 Supreme Court ruling. How would you feel in Parks' shoes? Submit your essay for possible online publication (look for the orange Online Publishing button) and read comments from other kids (the link to Read Kids' Writing is only on the submission page.)