Rosa Parks is one of the best known African American women of all time. She is admired by millions of people and has changed the way that African American people live in the United States.
1. Refused To Give Up Her Seat
Rosa Parks is best known for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. The conventions at the time dictated that black people had to give up their seats if a white person wanted it and she chose to disobey this rule because she believed that she had just as much right to the seat as the person who wanted to sit had.
2. Normal Life
Rosa was known for the dramatic event on the bus though she led a fairly normal life. She was a secretary and a youth adviser at the Montgomery branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, otherwise known as the NAACP. She began working in this position long before the incident on the bus and was concerned about the rights of black people for a long time.
3. Making A Statement
Her refusal to leave the bus and give up her seat not only made a statement, but caused problems in her life. She and her husband were not able to find employment in Montgomery after the bus incident and ended up moving to Detroit, Michigan.
4. Working For Congressman Conyers
Rosa Parks was interested in politics and gaining greater equality herself, her friends and family. From 1965 to 1988, she worked as an administrative assistant to John Conyers, Jr. who was a congressman in Detroit at the time.
5. The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development
The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development was founded in 1987 to give much needed career and vocational training to the youth of Detroit. She was concerned that the children and teens in the area weren’t getting the education or the experience they needed and set up the foundation to help them progress in life.
6. Presidential Medal of Freedom
Rosa Parks was an inspirational person to many people all over the world, winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. This is the highest honor that can be awarded to a U.S. civilian; Rosa Parks earned it for her valiant efforts.
7. Married at 19
Rosa’s husband, Raymond, was a barber when they were married when Rosa was 19 years old. Raymond and Rosa were very involved with civil rights causes throughout their lives. They were very concerned about voting rights for African Americans. Raymond died in 1977 and was followed a few years later by Rosa’s mother.
8. Montgomery Bus Boycott
Many people know that the bus incident was very important in the history of Alabama and became known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Parks was arrested in association with the event and was fined $14 for her refusal to give up her seat. On the advice of her attorneys, Rosa never paid the fine as a statement about what was right.
Rosa Parks’ case was appealed all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that the segregation on the buses in Montgomery was unconstitutional.
10. Mother of The Movement
It goes without saying that Rosa Parks helped make great strides in the civil rights movement. Many people refer to her as the mother of the movement and call her the patron saint of civil rights. She will always be remembered for the changes her actions helped bring about in the nation and the freedoms that she helped others receive.