Rosa Parks was born in 1913 in Tuskagee, Alabama. In 1928 she
graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. She attended
Alabama State College in Montgomery. In 1932 she married. Rosa and
her husband both worked with National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP). Rosa worked many different jobs; such as a
housekeeper, insurance saleswoman and seamstress.
On December 1, 1955 she got onto a bus and sat in one of the
seats in the front. The bus driver ordered her to move to the back, where
the "black people were supposed to sit. She refused to move. According
to the segregation laws, white passengers were given the seats in the
front of the bus. Even if there were no white borders, the African
Americans still had to sit in the back. If the bus was filled they would
have to give up their seat. This was unfair, especially since everyone paid
the same amount to use the bus. When Parks refused to get up, she was
arrested and fined. Rosa let the NAACP fight her case in court. They
argued that segregated seats deprived Rosa of her constitutional rights.
At the same time, leaders asked Montgomery's African Americans to
boycott, or not ride, the city buses. The buses were empty. Because of all
this going on, Rosa lost her job. After 382 days, the boycott ended when
the Supreme Court agreed that segregated seats was unconstitutional.
The idea of peaceful resistance to segregation rapidly spread
throughout the South. Through her brave act, Parks helped launch the
modern civil rights movement. Rosa did not want to be a hero, she just
quietly wanted to stand up for her rights. The success of this boycott led
to mass protests demanding civil rights for blacks.
Rosa Parks received many numerous awards. In 1998 Parks was
recognized with the first International Freedom Conductor Award. In 1999
President Clinton awarded