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Rosa Parks By: GAbriella Ragins

It was February 4, 1913... The day the legend was born.But she wasn't always the courageous women that we know. Once upon a time, Rosa Parks was just regular ol' girl who just wanted to live in peace.

Early life

Rosa Louis McCauley was born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1913. She lived with her grandparents in Pine Level for most of her childhood. While living with her grandparents, McCauley attended an all-black school. The school had fifty students and only one teacher. When Rosa was eleven years old, she moved to Montgomery, Alabama and attended Montgomery Industrial School for Girls. She stayed there until she was 16, when her grandma became ill suddenly. When Rosa was 20, her name changed from Rosa Louise McCauley to Rosa Louise Parks. Marrying Raymond Parks, a barber from Randolph County.

Early Roots of Activism

Rosa's husband was part of the NAACP for a very long time. Rosa Parks worked as a seamstress, sewing and fixing up articles of clothing. though Raymond highly discouraged her joining the NAACP out of fear of her safety, Rosa joined anyway as secretary for the NAACP, helping fight unjust crimes.

Thursday December 1, 1955. The day history got a bump on the side.

It was late in the evening, after a long, tiresome day at work. Rosa Parks stepped on the long avoided bus. She paid her fare and went to the back as the normal for black passengers, and crossed the unconstitutional line separating the greedy and the humble. She sat down and waited, like a normal evening, unbeknownst to her it was going to be anything but normal. As time was turning, a white man came on with no where to sit. The white section was all too full, so the driver simply but harshly asked the first row of the black section to stand up and make room for the white passenger. Coincidentally, Rosa Parks was one of the few the bus driver asked to stand. Parks politely declined his order, and remained firm in her seat. The driver kept urging and yelling at her to stand and Rosa remained calm and sat without a care in the world. The driver as hot-headed and stubborn as he was, called the police to take her away in a gloom place called jail. The police, doing as ordered came to take her away, saying she broke the contradicting laws.

After the bus incident and Rosa Parks arrest, Martin Luther King Jr, heard about what happened to her and made his debut as a civil rights activist. He with the help of Rosa Parks, created a non-violent protest and went to court about it. The Montgomery bus boycott lasted for about a year until the Supreme Court ruled bus segregation unconstitutional.

"I had no idea history was being made, I was just tired of giving in."

The rest of the bumpy road

For many years after that she was a civil rights activist and helped shape many young and old black lives. In 1957, she was threatened and fired from her job. From then, Rosa Parks and her husband moved to Detroit and she began to work for John Conyers, a representative for Michigan in the House of Representatives. Parks retired from her job and the public in 1998. but in 1996 president Clinton gave Rosa Parks the Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 1999 Parks received the honorable CongressionalĀ Gold Medal. Both highly respected medals. But the rest of her journey through life wasn't as joyous as other times. After her husbands death in 1977, Rosa Parks and her assistant, Elaine Eason Steele, founded an institute named Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. The Institute was founded for teens to travel around the country (with adults) and learn about the Civil rights and Americas History. But in 1994 she was robbed and harmed in her own home by a black intruder. When she asked the intruder if he knew who she was, he said 'I knew and I just didn't care' (somewhere along those lines.) In 1999, a hip-hop group called Outkast used her name in one of their songs, and Rosa Parks lawyers sued them. She lived a very plentiful, fulfilling life until her health couldn't keep up with her anymore. Rosa Parks later died on October 25, 2005.

"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me being old the. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving up." -Rosa Parks

The Things A Brave Could Want...

Yes, Rosa Parks was a courageous, civil rights leader, but she wasn't always a fearless woman. Once upon a time, she was a fearful little girl. Rosa McCauley used to be afraid of the Klu Klux Klan., which any black person would. Rosa Parks wanted little girls not to be afraid like she was. She knew what fear could do and I think she wanted little children to be happy, any race they were.

Rosa Parks was among some a hero, and among others legend, and among another a person who just wanted to be free.

Photo Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rosaparks.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rosa_Parks_Lying_in_Honor_(8509693137).jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rosa_Parks_being_fingerprinted_by_Deputy_Sheriff_D.H._Lackey_after_being_arrested_for_boycotting_public_transportation_-_Original.jpg .H._Lackey_after_being_arrested_for_boycotting_public_transportation_-_Original.jpg http://time.com/3603948/jesse-jackson-rosa-parks/ https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rosa-Parks

Credits:

Created with an image by T. Chick McClure - "Protest: No Hate"

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