Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913-2005) was best known for her roll in the Montgomery Bus Boycott as an American Civil Rights activist. On December 1st, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus in the “colored section” to a white passenger. Parks was arrested for civil disobedience because she was violating Alabama segregation laws. She was a well known figure in her community, news of her arrest spread quickly. Her willingness to stand up to the injustice of segregation inspired a movement in the African American community to boycott the buses in Montgomery for over a year. This was the first major action campaign of the Civil Rights Movement.
Parks was an important beacon for others in the Civil Rights Movement and an icon of resistance to segregation. However, she suffered dearly for her defiance. Both she and her husband lost their jobs, and they struggled to find employment in the community again. She received death threats for many years. Eventually the family was forced to relocate.
Parks remained a Civil Rights activist over the next half-century, she became a symbol of dignity and strength for America to follow.
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.” – Rosa Parks
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