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Essays On Rosa Parks

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Rosa Parks




“When the history of this country is written, when a final accounting is done, it is this small, quiet woman whose name will be remembered long after the names of senators and presidents have been forgotten. (Freedman, 64)” Growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama during segregated times, Rosa Parks dreamed of freedom and equality for African Americans. To achieve this goal, she knew she would have to apply courage and strength. Rosa Parks’ act of defiance started the Civil Rights movement within the United States. Her works with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, NAACP trials, and her influence on the younger generation have earned her the nickname “Mother of Civil Rights”.

Rosa Louis Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama to James and Leona McCauley. Park’s grew up in a time full of segregation and racism. In her autobiography, she remembers her grandfather standing at the front door of their farmhouse, with a shotgun in his hand, while he watched the Ku Klux Klan marched down their street (Haskins, 58). Though times were scary, many people influenced Rosa Parks during her childhood and taught her to stay strong. One of these people was her mother. When she was eleven years old her mother put her in the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls. This school taught its student’s self-worth, a philosophy that gave Rosa Parks the strength to overcome hard times. She was also greatly influenced by her dislike of the “Jim Crow” laws of the south. These laws segregated white people from black people in things like public schools, transportation, restrooms, and many other things that took place in daily life ("Heroes and Icons: Rosa Parks", Time.com). In 1932 Rosa parks married Raymond Parks, and both of them joined the NAACP, which was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP worked for the equality of African Americans (Banting, 96). This chapter in her life is where Rosa Parks truly began starting the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

Mrs. Parks’ work in the NAACP was a very influential within the Civil Rights movement. In December 1943, Parks joined the Montgomery group, and was elected for volunteer secretary. She worked with the organization's state president, Edgar Daniel Nixon. Together the two started a voter registration drive for African Americans in Montgomery (Sherol, 78). This was a great start to even greater work. African Americans were finally allowed to vote, and Parks urged them to vote. Parks also took part in the famous Scottsboro case. Rosa Parks and other NAACP members tried to free nine young black men, who were accused of raping two white women. Though they failed in the Scottsboro trial, they set a precedent to help protect African American women from sexual assaults by white men ("Parks, Rosa." Encyclopedia.com). The NAACP sent Parks to investigate Recy Taylor’s trial, after a car full of white men had kidnapped and raped the African American mother. Rosa organized the Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor, which started a nationwide movement. Parks and other activists rallied at Recy’s trial and at another trial where a black woman was raped by two white Montgomery police officers (Knopf, September 2010). Together Parks and the NAACP worked together to stop sexual assaults and violence against African Americans. Rosa Parks’ work in the NAACP was an important start to the Civil Rights Movement. She helped the African Americans who were assaulted receive equality in court. She protested and worked hard to see that people got the justice they deserved and that the African Americans received a fair trial.

On the 1st of December 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery bus to go home from work. A white man entered the bus after her and the driver ordered Rosa Parks to move as part at the segregation “Jim Crow Laws”. When asked to move the active NAACP member refused and stayed seated in her seat. Parks was arrested for her actions on the bus, but these were the actions that started the Montgomery Bus Boycott which changed civil rights in America forever. On December 5th, African-American residents of the Montgomery refused to use the buses (Haskins, 65). Rosa’s courage gave the citizens the bravery to stand up and fight back against segregation. On that same day, Rosa Parks went to court. When she was found guilty, her lawyer decided to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Parks was bailed out of jail by NAACP president, Edgar Nixon. Parks and Montgomery’s African American citizens continued with the Boycott by walking, biking, and taking cars to destinations instead of buses. With seventy five percent of the bus’s riders being African American, the bus company was forced to cut back on buses and raise its prices (“Rosa Parks.”Answers.com). Finally on November 13, 1956, one year after Rosa’s refusal to give up her seat, the Supreme Court ruled that Montgomery's segregation laws are unconstitutional (“Montgomery Bus Boycott” www.watson.org). This was a major accomplishment for the civil rights. African Americans were finally starting to receive the rights they deserved. Rosa’s brave choice that day brought together 17,000 people to work together and fight for their equality.

The Mother of Civil Rights, Rosa Parks, didn’t stop fighting for equality, even after being thrown in jail. As Parks got older she still worked hard to make sure that she would see the day when African Americans got the rights they deserved. Parks knew the best way to keep the fight going was to inspire the younger generation and also have them join in. In February 1987 she founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development (“Rosa Parks Institute” Rosaparks.org). This was an institute that ran the Pathways to Freedom bus tours. This bus tour was during the summer trip that took teenagers and young adults across the country. It introduced them to places that where important civil rights events, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, took place (Barnes,127). It also showed them things that were important for African American history, such as the Underground Railroad. The journey was similar to the 1960’s freedom rider journey which was a bus ride filled with civil rights activist that went into segregated southern states to fight for racial equality (Freedom Rider, Ruth Ashby). Rosa Parks saw energy in the younger generation and knew that if they were motivated they could also help make a huge difference in Civil Rights. Many people have found inspiration from the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute. The Institute was a very intelligent idea and helped change civil rights forever.

“I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day, but I don't think there is anything such as complete happiness. It pains me that there is still a lot of Klan activity and racism. I think when you say you're happy, you have everything that you need and everything that you want, and nothing more to wish for. I haven't reached that stage yet.”(famousquotesabout.com). Parks, like many other African, was tired of the horrible treatment they received from whites. She felt segregation must be put to a stop no matter what the cost was. What separated Rosa Parks from others was that she had the courage and bravery to take action. She risked time, money, and even her life just to see a better tomorrow for African Americans. Parks’ hard work in the NAACP, her boldness to stay seated on the Montgomery bus, and her institute to inspire young activist have truly earned her the name the Mother of Civil Rights , for she truly made a difference.


Submitted by: oliviacamille

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Essay on Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks

555 Words3 Pages

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. At the age of two she moved to her grandparents' farm in Pine Level, Alabama with her mother and younger brother, Sylvester. At the age of 11 she enrolled in the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls, a private school founded by liberal-minded women from the northern United States. The school's philosophy of self-worth was consistent with Leona McCauley's advice to "take advantage of the opportunities, no matter how few they were." Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus spurred a city-wide boycott. The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks…show more content…

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. At the age of two she moved to her grandparents' farm in Pine Level, Alabama with her mother and younger brother, Sylvester. At the age of 11 she enrolled in the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls, a private school founded by liberal-minded women from the northern United States. The school's philosophy of self-worth was consistent with Leona McCauley's advice to "take advantage of the opportunities, no matter how few they were." Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus spurred a city-wide boycott. The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks received many accolades during her lifetime, including the NAACP's highest award. Despite all of the discriminating interrogations against African Americans, Rosa Parks was one to be known for her positive attitude. One of the ways she kept her mood up was music. After long days working as a seamstress in a factory, Rosa would often go to a café around the block to listen to music. In particular she liked to listen to jazz, and when she went to her Methodist Episcopal church she enjoyed the gospel music. Due to Rosa’s long and strenuous work hours, she always tried to find time for writing. Often times she would only write journal entry’s about her daily life happenings, but in 1992 she self-published her autobiography, Rosa Parks: My Story.

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