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Rosa Parks

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

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