Rosa Parks Chal­lenged Seg­re­ga­tion

PS Magazine - - POP CULTURE, NEWS, AND EVENTS FROM PAST DECADES -

On De­cem­ber 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a 42-year- old African-Amer­i­can woman in Mont­gomery City, Alabama, qui­etly re­fused to move from her seat on the ba­sis of her race, set­ting in mo­tion the Mont­gomery bus boy­cott and the be­gin­ning of the Civil Rights Move­ment. Al­though she was in the first row of seats avail­able to black pas­sen­gers, when the white sec­tion be­came full, the driver in­sisted that she along with three oth­ers move to give their seats to white pas­sen­gers who had en­tered the bus. In pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents oth­ers had taken sim­i­lar ac­tions to hers and at the time, she was ac­tively fight­ing for civil rights and sec­re­tary of the Mont­gomery chap­ter of the NAACP. How­ever, her re­fusal to move was not pre-med­i­tated.

“I did not get on the bus to get ar­rested; I got on the bus to go home. Get­ting ar­rested was one of the worst days in my life,” Ms. Parks later wrote. “I was just tired of giv­ing in…. When I made that de­ci­sion, I knew that I had the strength of my an­ces­tors with me.”

Above: Bus no. 2857, be­lieved to be the Rosa Parks bus, has been re­stored and is on view at the Henry Ford Mu­seum in Dear­born, MI.

Left: Rosa Parks be­ing fin­ger­printed by Po­lice Lt. D.H. Lackey in Mont­gomery, AL.

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