Rosa McCauly Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1913 and grew up on a small farm.
When her mother had saved enough money to pay for it, Rosa had began to attend a private school when
she was 11 years old. But, while she was attending high school, her mother had become ill so she had to
quit. After quitting high school, she got a job as a house servant and began sending money back to her
family. When she married Raymond Parks, she returned to high school and graduated.
In 1943 she joined the NAACP and worked to ensure voting rights for blacks.
One evening shortly after 5:00 PM on Thursday, December 1, 1955 while coming home from work, she
boarded a bus and sat down. According to Montgomery law, blacks had to sit in the back of the bus, and
give up their seats to whites when they came on the bus. When she was asked to give up her seat, she
refused. Immediately, the driver stopped the bus and called two policemen. Mrs.
Parks was arrested and
taken to jail.
Edgar Daniel Nixon, head of the NAACP in Montgomery, posted a $100 bond to get her released.
Although Mrs. Parks was not the first black person to get arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the
bus, Mr. Nixon decided that she wouldn’t be the last. He called a meeting of black leaders to see what
action they should take.
By the end of the meeting, the leaders agreed to call a one-day boycott of all the city buses for Monday
On Monday, the buses began their run through the black neighborhood and came back empty. The
boycott was a sucess. They set up the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) and named Martin
Luther King Jr., it’s leader.
Rosa parks Essay went to court and was charged with violating a 1947 segregation law. She was found guilty
and fined $10 plus $4 in court costs.
The Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council started threating the MIA organizers. Leaders and
supporters were arrested, including Rosa Parks. They all lost their jobs. Dr.
Kings house was dynamited.
They boycott still continued.
After 381 days of boycotting, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Rosa Parks. In April 1956, the bus
company, which had lost more than $750,000 during the long boycott, agreed to integrate seating on its
buses and to hire black bus drivers. .