Rosa Parks: biography, activism, importance

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Rosa Parks he was an important figure in recent US history. She became famous for performing a act of civil disobedience which gave strength to a series of protests by African Americans for their civil rights. Rosa Parks' act of not giving up her seat to a white man sparked a boycott against the Montgomery bus, which ended racial segregation on buses across the territory North American.

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Pink Louise McCauley ("Parks" was only added to her name when she got married) was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama, in the southern United States. her father was called JamesMcCauley and was a carpenter, and her mother, LeonaEdwards, worked as a teacher. As a child, she moved with her mother to Pine Level, a city in the metropolitan area of ​​Montgomery, the capital of Alabama.

Rosa Parks has been known for refusing to obey the racial segregation law against blacks on buses in Montgomery, USA.[1]
Rosa Parks has been known for refusing to obey the racial segregation law against blacks on buses in Montgomery, USA.[1]
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During her childhood, Rosa Parks studied in rural colleges, later joining the Industrial School for Girls and, later, at a public university for black students, the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes. However, she did not finish her studies, leaving them to care for her mother.

During her childhood, Rosa Parks already witnessed the racial segregation that exists in the south of the United States, since, in order to go to school, she she couldn't take the school buses, as they were dedicated exclusively to white students. She reports that this experience was one of the first that made her realize the differences in the treatment of whites and blacks. Throughout her youth, she accumulated other bad experiences caused by racism.

When she was 19 years old, she married Raymondparks, a barber who was part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an organization that fought for the rights of the African-American community in the United States. Their marriage took place on December 18, 1932, and their marriage lasted until 1977, when her husband died.

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Fight against segregation

Her marriage to Raymond led Rosa Parks to become involved in the activities promoted by the NAACP. She acted in support of the case of Scottsboro Boys, a group of nine blacks falsely accused of having raped a woman on a train in 1931. In the 1940s, Parks became an active member of the NAACP, assuming the position of secretary.

During this period, she divided her time between her involvement in militancy and her work. The most significant action in Rosa Parks' life took place on a bus in Montgomery in 1955.

  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

In the capital of Alabama, there was a practice segregationist against blacks who used the service. The front ranks were dedicated to white people; the last rows were dedicated to blacks. When the buses got too full, blacks were forced to give up their places so the whites could sit down. This was one of many discriminatory practices that existed in the United States.

Model of the bus in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man in 1955. [2]
Model of the bus in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man in 1955.[2]

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was working as a seamstress. After a day of work, she returned to her home using the local bus service. She paid the bus fare, like anyone else, but during the course of the trip, the driverordered that she if get up and give his place to a white man.

As she refused, the driver called the police, who arrested Rosa Parks. Her act and her arrest quickly spread to the attention of the United States. Her arrest started a boycott of the city's blacks against the bus service, and the African-American community engaged in the fight against racial segregation.

With the boycott of the bus company as a form of protest, the black community of Montgomery went to work walking or organized rides between each other, in case any of them had a car. Immediately the bus company began to register losses because of the boycott.

Despite the recognition, Rosa Parks was not the first black person to perform this act of civil disobedience. Other people had done this in the 1940s and 1950s, but Rosa Parks' act served as a trigger for the beginning of a great movement of African Americans for civil rights and for the end of segregation racial. In short, Rosa Parks' action resulted in significant social transformations.

After her bail was paid, Rosa Parks' life became harder than it already was. she became threatened by other white people in Montgomery and it lost your job. This situation forced her to flee to Detroit, Michigan. She was one of millions of African Americans who migrated from the south to the north of the United States to escape racial segregation.

However, the seed was planted and, because of Rosa Parks' action, a process began that changed the history of the United States. The mobilization of the black community in Montgomery has given rise to significant leadership in the history of the African-American movement in the struggle for civil rights: the baptist pastor Martin Luther King Jr.

The mobilization of African Americans against racial segregation brought significant results, as it opened space for this debate, she united the country's black community and made the US Supreme Court decree the end of racial segregation of blacks on buses of the United States in 1956.

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Last years

After Montgomery, she settled in Detroit and got a job there as John Conyers secretary, a black congressman. She remained in this job until 1988, when she finally retired. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, she remained engaged in movements for the rights of African Americans.

Rosa Parks has been honored several times in his life for the importance of his role in defending the rights of the Afro-American community and in his fight against racism. One of the most important honors came in June 1999, when she received the Gold Medal in the United States Congress as a tribute from the Bill Clinton administration to her important role.

In 2002, Rosa Parks was diagnosed with dementia. On October 24, 2005, for natural causes, Rosa Parks died at his home in Detroit. She never had children.

Image credits:

[1]nephthali and Shutterstock

[2] Joseph Sohm and Shutterstock

By Daniel Neves Silva
History teacher

Source: Brazil School -

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