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Transcript of Rosa Parks
At an early age her mother was teaching her how to read. After that Rosa Parks began attending a school in Pine Level, Alabama.
Tax funds were used for development and maintenance of white schools, but black schools had to be funded and built by the black community. White schools lasted 9 months, and black schools only lasted 5 months.
Education was very important to her mother and as a result Rosa was sent to live with family in Montgomery, AL in order to attend Montgomery Industrial School aka Miss Whites School. Miss White was the principal. The teachers were white women from the North and they were ostracized by Montgomery whites. The school was burned down at least two times.
She never finished high school- her mother and grandmother became sick and so Rosa left to take care of her. It wasn't until after she married that she finished high school, encouraged to do so by her husband Raymond Parks.
The New York Public Library Archives
Rosa Parks at NAACP meeting, her mother is two seats down.
Why is Rosa Parks Important?
Rosa Parks was born as Rosa Louise McCauley to Leona and James Mc Cauley on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her father was a carpenter and stonemason. Her mother was a teacher. Rosa's parents split at a very young age. After the split her mother and the children moved to Pine Level, AL where her grandparents lived.
Young Rosa Parks
Her grandfather was a huge influence in Rosa's life. As a result of the appalling treatment he endured as a child, he did not allow the grandchildren to play with white kids. He taught his family to stand up for themselves, to not tolerate bad treatment, and to respect who they were. While Rosa never shared hatred for white people with her grandfather, she carried the other principals with her.
After the first world war the KKK became violently active. Her grandfather used to sit out on the porch at night with his shotgun standing guard.
Father's Side: Rosa's great-grandfather served in the Union Army in the South during the civil war. Her great-grandmother was a slave and part indian.
Mother's Side: Her grandmother's father was a Scotch-Irishman and an indentured servant. He married an African slave and midwife. They had 3 children before freedom and 6 more after.
Her grandfather's father was a white plantation owner and his mother was a slave housekeeper and seamstress.
Her grandfather was born into slavery and severely beaten, starved, and not permitted shoes by the overseer.
"To Rosa Parks, whose creative witness was the great force that led to the modern stride toward freedom."
- MLK Jr, dedication in "Stride Toward Freedom"
Raymond Parks and Rosa became friends and he was the first man of her acquaintance, besides her grandfather, that she had discussed racial conditions with. He was also the first man she had met (excluding grandfather and a man she worked with as a child) who was not afraid of whites. Raymond was a barber and a member of the NAACP. The were Married on December 18, 1932.
They occasionally hosted secret NACCP meetings at their house. Her husband was active in the Voters' League>
Rosa Parks registered to vote at 32 in 1945. It took 3x to register to vote and when she was finally allowed to she had to pay a $16.50 tax.
In 1943 Rosa was kicked off a bus for refusing to enter through a back door after paying her toll at the front.
December 1943 Rosa joined the NACCP and became secretary of the Montgomery chapter. There was only one other woman.
Violence escalates as soldiers return from WWII.
In 1949 she became secretary of the elder branch of the NAACP and she became an advisor to the NAACP youth council.
She also began volunteering for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (a labor union for Black Porters).
"The more we gave in and complied, the worse they treated us."
In 1943, Rosa Parks had her first confrontation with a bus driver and in 1955 she faced the same situation with the same driver.
At the time NAACP wanted to file a suit against the city and needed a plaintiff. Wanted a women and upstanding citizen.
In Spring 1955 there was petition for better treatment on buses. It was ignored.
The event took place on December 1, 1955.
"I did not intend to get arrested. If I'd been paying attention, I wouldn't even have gotten on that bus."
Refused to give up her seat for a white man and was arrested.
Before Rosa Parks
Claudette Colvin, a 15 year old girl from Montgomery, Alabama, nine months earlier refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery segregated bus.
Browder v. Gayle: A case heard by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama for the desegregation of buses. Segregation was ruled unconstitutional by the District Court and later by the US Supreme Court. December 17, 1956 - 14th Amendment
Colvin was a plaintiff in the Browder v. Gayle lawsuit that desegregated buses.
She was not chosen as a test case for challenging segregation on school buses.
Black Leaders did not publicize her arrest.
Rosa Parks is referred to as the "First Lady of Civil Rights" and "The Mother of the Freedom Movement."
An activist from almost the beginning of her life, Parks fueled the flame of a movement by standing up for what she believed in.
Laitner, Bill. "Rosa Parks' Heirs and Institute Gain from Estate Sale." Detroit Free Press. A Gannett Company. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <http://www.freep.com/article/20140830/NEWS05/308300025/Rosa-Parks-Howard-Buffett-New-York-City-Detroit-estate>.
"Rosa Parks Was Arrested for Civil Disobedience, December 1, 1955 - Jump Back in Time | America's Library - Library of Congress." Rosa Parks Was Arrested for Civil Disobedience, December 1, 1955 - Jump Back in Time | America's Library - Library of Congress. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/modern/jb_modern_parks_1.html>.
"Claudette Colvin." The Montgomery Bus Boycott. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <http://www.montgomeryboycott.com/claudette-colvin/>.
"Rosa Parks Timeline." Rosa Parks Timeline. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. <http://www.softschools.com/timelines/rosa_parks/timeline_7/>.
A Life Well Lived
"Rosa Louise McCauley Parks." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web.
Rosa Parks recieved the Spingarn Medal which ws the highest NAACP's highest medal and the Martin Luther King Jr. Award. President Bill Clinton gave Rosa Parks the Presidential Award of Freedom, which was the highest honor given by the USA's executive branch on September 9, 1996. The following years she also got the Congressional Gold Medal, which was the highest honor given by the USA's legislative branch. In 1999 she was named "The 20 Most Influential People of the 20th Century" in Times.
Parks, Rosa, and Jim Haskins. Rosa Parks: My Story. New York: Dial, 1992. Print.
Parks, Rosa, and Jim Haskins. I Am Rosa Parks. New York: Dial for Young Readers, 1997. Print.
"I have spent half my life teaching love and brotherhood, and I feel it is better to continue to try to teach or live equality and love than it would be to have hatred and prejudice. "
In December of 2000, The Rosa Parks Library and Museum was dedicated on the campus of Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama.
Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005 at the age of 92
Carrie Canova, Preetham Thippana, Mallory Sivard
She had been diagnosed with progressive dementia the previous year.
She was laid to rest between her husband and her mother at Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery, in the chapel's mausoleum, later named Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel
Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., where an estimated 50,000 people viewed her casket.