Who is Rosa Parks? Rosa Parks is someone who grew up believing people should be judged by the respect they have for themselves and others. (Le Blanc, 190) Rosa Parks is mostly known for standing up for herself and for other all other African Americans when she refused to go to the back of the bus to give up her seat for a white man. (Le Blanc, 190) When Rosa took a stand, she didn’t do it to make her name go down in history. She did it because she believed in herself and she stood up for an injustice she thought was wrong. Rosa Parks is a courageous and very remarkable person.
Rosa Parks was born in Tuskagee, Alabama. When she was a young child her parents separated. After her parents got divorced, she moved to Montgomery with her mom. (Le Blanc, 189) She grew up with an extended family that consisted of her maternal grandparents and Sylvester, her younger brother. (Le Blanc, 189) Rosa’s mother was a school teacher and she was taught by her until age 11. (Celsi, 1) At age 11 she went to Montgomery Industrial School for Girls. It was an all black school. Everything in Montgomery was either “blacks only” or “whites only.” Though she found it humiliating, Parks became used to obeying segregation laws. (Celsi, 1)
“With her mother’s help, Rosa was able to grow up proud of herself and other black people.” (Contemporary Black Biography, 190) By the time she reached the midpoint of her life, Rosa was no longer a stranger to white intimidation. (Le Blanc, 190) At the age of 20, Rosa married Raymond Parks, who was a barber. Rosa and Raymond had to keep steady jobs to support themselves. (Le Blanc, 190)
Rosa hated the way of life. She had always dreamed of equality and freedom. (Stewart, 1) Although Rosa grew up with segregation, she turned out to be a very well rounded unique person many people can look up to. She was just a normal person with a normal life, but she did something that not many black people back then had the courage to do…she stood up for herself.
In Rosa’s spare time, she became active in the NAACP. She was also active in the Montgomery Voters League. (Le Blanc, 190) The Montgomery Voters League was a group that helped black people pass a special test so they could register to vote. (Le Blanc, 190) Rosa had been silently protesting segregation in her own quiet way over the years. For example, instead of riding up an elevator that said “blacks only” she would take the stairs. (Le Blanc, 190) The most well known boycott is the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This was a boycott that took place in response to Rosa’s arrest. Her arrest caused black people throughout Montgomery to refuse to ride buses. (Church, 393) The success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott encouraged a wave of massive demonstrations that swept across the South. (Church, 394)
Rosa Parks has succeeded in establishing herself in history by what she did. She is one of the most honored and distinguished African Americans in our history. (Asante, 71) Rosa Parks stood didn’t only stand up for herself, she stood up for racism. It must have been hard for her because not only was she an African American, she was also a woman, and back then things were much more difficult for women.
Even though Rosa did something very courageous, some might say she isn’t the best leader. Many leaders give speeches, lead demonstrations and write petitions. Rosa Parks didn’t do any of these things. Other people were motivated to do these things because of her standing up for herself. (Asante, 71)
The most important incident that happened in Rosa’s life occurred on December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks was riding the bus home from work like she did every day. But that day had been especially tiring. (Le Blanc, 190) The bus was a constant irritation to black people. The front four rows were reserved for whites (and remained empty even when there were not enough white passengers to fill them). The back section, which was always very crowded, was for black passengers. In between there were some rows that were really part of the black section, but served