Rosa Parks: A Catalyst for Change

526 Words3 Pages
Few people are credited with greatness in their lifetime. Rosa Parks, whose name will forever be synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement, is one of the few Americans that bears the title of greatness for her contribution to society. Her refusal to move from her seat in the back of the bus was the much needed catalyst for change in the South. While Rosa Parks’ greatness is mostly attributed to her actions on a Montgomery bus in 1955, it is important to recognize her other contributions to society. The Academy of Achievement (n.d.) discussed Parks’ contributions. After graduating from Alabama State Teacher’s College, Parks joined the local NAACP chapter. It was there that she began her quiet pursuit to improve conditions for Blacks in the South. Parks’ assisted in the bus boycott in Montgomery that eventually led to the Supreme Court Decision to strike down the city ordinance that prohibited Blacks to sit in the front of the bus. Finally, Parks sponsored a summer program, Pathways to Freedom, which offered teenagers an opportunity to explore the Civil Rights Movement by touring the country (pg. 2-3). Two sources, The Academy of Achievement (n.d.) and Robert Fulghum (1989), provided detailed overviews of Parks’ contributions to society. The Academy of Achievement (n.d.) offered a scholarly biography. It cited specific examples of how Parks contributed to helping improve conditions for Blacks in America. Robert Fulghum (1989), however, looked specifically at Rosa Parks action of “just sitt[ing] still” on the bus and explored this action on a more symbolic level. He analyzed how “sitting still” can have a negative connotation in today’s vernacular, but stated, “Sitting still can be a powerful action” (pg. 1). He continued by comparing Parks’ powerful action of sitting still to the greatness of Ghandi, King, and even Jesus (pg. 1-2). While both
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