1913 – October 24, 2005)
“Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement” by the U.S
Congress, Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott in
Montgomery, Alabama in December 1955 when she refused to give
up her seat on a bus for a white passenger. While other
African Americans had previously acted out against segregation
with similar actions, it was Park’s actions that attracted
attention and led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On December
1, Parks was arrested for violation of the segregation law and
was bailed out the next day by civil rights leader, E.D Nixon,
and lawyer, Clifford Durr. That evening the Women’s Political
Council began making plans for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Over 35,000 handbills were printed and the boycott was
announced in black churches all over the area that Sunday.
Advertiser” also announced the boycott on its front page that
week. Many believe that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat
because she was tired from a long day of work, often picturing
her as an elderly lady. This is not the case however. At the
time of her actions on the bus, Rosa Parks was forty-two years
old. She was tired, but not physically. She was tired of being
mistreated and forced to “take a back seat” to white people.
The boycott lasted 381 days and the law of segregation on
public buses was lifted. The Montgomery Bus Boycott stirred up
and inspired a number of bus boycotts around the country and
played a large role in the African American civil rights
movement. Ironically, it was much later in life before Rosa
Parks received much national recognition in the form of
honours and awards.