Rosa Parks – Sitting Down for What Was Right

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On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a 42 year old African American woman, refused to relinquish her seat on a public bus to a white man. She was arrested and convicted for violating the laws of segregation. (“Story”) Mrs. Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat was the spark that started to civil rights movement in our country. Mrs. Parks appealed her conviction. At the same time African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama, the sight of the incident, boycotted the buses and walked to work for a year. Mrs. Parks and the support she got from this action, gave African Americans hope that they would be free from segregation. The civil rights movement represented an improvement in the lives of African Americans because they would be treated the same way as white people when paying for the use of public facilities. Rosa Parks was not an ordinary black woman. Rosa’s father was a carpenter named James McCauley, who traveled a great deal when she was young and was not around very much during her early years. Her mother, Leona Edwards, was a teacher who had to live away from her home and children during the week in order to teach at a black school. Rosa and her mother stayed with her mother’s grandparents in a small community near Montgomery. Rosa was taught by both her mother and grandparents to be proud of her heritage. She was also taught to read at a very young age by her mother. Rosa was educated at several schools and was finally sent to Montgomery to continue her education. Rosa was always very aware of the differences around her in the ways blacks and whites lived. She recalled, in her book, My Story, that she remembers the white children riding in buses to school as she walked to schools. She also stated that the African American children often did not have desks and had to hold their school books in their laps. Rosa was educated at several schools and was
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