rosa-parkRosa Parks is famous throughout the country for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Alabama in 1955. Rosa was a seamstress at the time and was a member of the largely African-American community in Montgomery, Alabama. During the time she grew up, the city was governed by segregation laws. These laws stated that blacks were allowed to attend only certain schools; they could drink from only from specified water fountains and even borrow books only from the library allotted to them.

The African Americans were getting fed up with the various laws that kept treating them as second class citizens. This was when a young leader Rev.Dr.Martin Luther King Jr was rising in popularity among the African American community. Segregation laws had become such an integral part of life that every citizen in Montgomery knew that the back seats of a Montgomery bus for the black citizen and the front seats were reserved for the white citizens. There was also a custom where the bus driver had authority to ask a black citizen to give up their seat for a white citizen.

rosa-park-storySo on that fateful day in 1955, Rosa Parks was commuting home from after a long day at work when the driver asked the people sitting in the first row “coloured” section of the bus to stand as a white citizen did not have a seat in the white section of the bus. While the other black people complied with the bus driver’s order, Rosa Parks was not willing to do so. She was tired of relinquishing her rights in every sphere of life just because she was an African-American. This resulted in police officers appearing at the stopped bus and placing Parks in custody.

This incident helped to initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. A bus boycott was held on the day of Rosa Park’s trial. Parks become the national symbol of the struggle against racial segregation that lasted for the next half-century.

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