Name: Rosa Parks (nee Rosa Louise McCauley)
Born: 4 February 1913
Passed: 24 October 2005
Place of birth: Tuskegee, Alabama, USA
Residencies: Tuskegee, Detroit
Known for: Civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat ….
Awards: Springarn Medal (1979); Golden Plate Award (1995); Presidential Medal of Freedom (1996); the Congressional Gold Medal (1999) and NAACP Image Award for outstanding supporting actress in dram series (2000).
Rosa Parks was one of the reasons why the bus service in Montgomery was boycotted. Rosa Parks is considered to be the ‘first lady of civil rights’. Why is that? It’s said that Rosa was arrested on 1 December 1955 for refusing to give her bus seat to a white man. This was against the city’s racial segregation rules. Equal rights did not exist back then.
The black community reacted to this and under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr, the Montgomery Improvement Association decided to boycott the bus company. It is said that African- Americans constituted some 70 percent of ridership. So a boycott such as this would have undoubtedly hit the bus company’s pockets, and causing financial distress.
According to records the boycott began on 5 December 1955, and on 13 November 1956 the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision declaring that it was unconstitutional. The boycott ended the following day after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
It is reported that in 1957 Rosa and her family moved to Detroit. Between 1965 and 1988 Rosa was one of the members of staff who worked for Michigan Congress John Conyers.
Rosa was true to herself and continued to be an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
In her honour, so reports says, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference created the annual Rosa Parks Freedom Award.
Rosa Parks has received the following awards:
Springarn Medal (1979); Golden Plate Award; Presidential Medal of Freedom (1996); the Congressional Gold Medal (1999); NAACP Image Award for outstanding supporting actress in drama series (2000)
Rosa Parks will always be remembered for her role in the civil rights movement. On 24 October 2005 Rosa died at the ripe age of 92. Rosa is rightly the ‘mother of civil rights’.