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Rosa Parks Project
Transcript of Rosa Parks Project
After attending Alabama State Teachers College, the young Rosa settled in Montgomery, with her husband, Raymond Parks. The couple joined the local chapter of the NAACP and worked quietly for many years to improve the lot of African-Americans in the segregated south. "Back then, we didn't have any civil rights. It was just a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Klan ride at night and hearing a lynching and being afraid the house would burn down"
Rosa Parks After the Civil War, millions of formerly enslaved African Americans hoped to join the larger society as full and equal citizens. Although some white Americans welcomed them, others used people’s ignorance, racism, and self-interest to sustain and spread racial divisions. By 1900, new laws and old customs in the North and the South had created a segregated society that condemned Americans of color to second-class citizenship. On December 1st 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, Rosa Parks (aged 42) refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind, yet her actions of civil disobedience sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott . Her act of defiance became an important symbol of modern Civil Rights Movement. Due to this, she became an icon, globally, to the resistance of radical segregation. She organised and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King Jr. This helped him launch himself to national prominence in the civil rights movement. The Montgomery Bus Boycott involved the black community with Montgomery, refusing to use public transport and, as they were the main users of the services, companies started to loose money. As a result, racial segregation within public transport was removed from the American Legal System. This helped start a chain reaction which resulted in the TOTAL removal of racial segregation in the USA. Although she was widely honoured in later years for her actions, she suffered for it, losing her job, and lost her job as a seamstress in a local department store. As a result she moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she found similar work. After the death of her husband in 1977, Mrs. Parks founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. The Institute sponsors an annual summer program for teenagers called Pathways to Freedom. The young people tour the country in buses, under adult supervision, learning the history of their country and of the civil rights movement. President Clinton presented Rosa Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. She received a Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.
Mrs. Parks spent her last years living quietly in Detroit, where she died in 2005 at the age of 92. After her death, her casket was placed in the rotunda of the United States Capitol for two days, so the nation could pay its respects to the woman whose courage had changed the lives of so many. She is the only woman and second African American in American history to lie in state at the Capitol, an honor usually reserved for Presidents of the United States.
The Story of Rosa Parks One small act CAN change the world ...