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What Did Rosa Parks Do?

Rosa Parks Sparked the Civil Rights Movement

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What Did Rosa Parks Do?

22nd January 1988: Civil rights leader Rosa Parks smiles while people gathered around her applaud at a ceremony held in her honor at the House of the Lord Church, Brooklyn, New York.

Angel Franco / Contributor/ Archive Photos/ Getty Images

Question: What Did Rosa Parks Do?

Rosa Parks was an African-American seamstress who took the bus to and from work every day in Montgomery, Alabama. She had grown up in a segregated South, where there were separate rules for blacks and whites. For instance, on buses, if the rows of seats that were reserved for white passengers were full, then an African-American passenger would be required to give up their seat so that the white passenger could sit down.

On every other day of her life, Rosa Parks had followed the rules of segregation. However, on December 1, 1955, she decided she was tired of giving in. When a white passenger entered an already full bus, the bus driver asked Rosa Parks and three other African-Americans sitting in her row, to stand up. The others stood up; Rosa Parks remained seated.

Because she would not give up her seat, the bus driver called the police and Rosa Parks was arrested. News of her arrest quickly spread. The NAACP decided to use Rosa Parks to challenge the segregation laws in the courts, while the African-American community of Montgomery, Alabama decided to create a boycott of the buses in an effort to make changes.

Since the rest of the civil rights movement stemmed from what became known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks is known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

See full article: Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Bus Seat

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