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The Mother Of Civil Rights, Rosa Parks Used Her “No” To Spark A Movement!

author-img By sagnika sinha 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

Rosa Parks

What do you know about the modern civil rights movement? Did you know anything about Rosa Parks? Are you aware of Rosa Parks’ contribution to the civil rights movement? In this article, I will share about Rosa Parks, the American civil rights activist who created history by setting one of the largest social movements in motion.

Rosa Parks became an American civil rights activist who initiated the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-56. She ignited the movement by standing against all practices of inequality. Read the article to learn more about this beautiful, strong, and brave woman!

Let us go through how Rosa Parks influenced and improved society’s conditions. When it comes to the social injustice, imbalance, and oppression faced by African American people in the U.S., how did she raise awareness? How did she bring about a change in the way people raised their voices?

The Mother Of Civil Rights, Rosa Parks, Used Her “No” To Spark A Movement!

Born on 4 February 1913, Rosa Parks was born to parents, a skilled stonemason and carpenter, James McCauley, and Leona Edwards McCauley, a teacher. Simultaneously, she was a sick child suffering from chronic tonsillitis. At a very young age, her parents separated, which led to estrangement between her and her father!

In Pine level, Alabama situated in Montgomery, Rosa had her grandparents’ home. This is where the children, Rosa, and her brother and mother, shifted. Rosa received her education here with a mother who is a professional schoolteacher. She also learned cooking and sewing!

At her young age, she has seen a lot of struggles and challenges. She saw Negro churches being burnt along with destroying schools, flogging, and killing people because they belonged to minority groups and ethnicity. Furthermore, she was so weathered with these practices that she used to keep watch at night, rifle in hand!

She was always on the lookout for violent mobs of white men. At times, she was joined by other family members, all worrying about their need for escape. Read along to learn more about this icon!

Early Life And Influences

Early Life And Influences

A mother and grandparents who believed in equality and freedom raised Rosa Parks, creating a strong and independent woman. In her early life, Parks worked hard to bring equality to people! She attended the Alabama State Teachers’ College for Negroes at the age of 11 in their laboratory school.

Her grandparents suffered as children, and they were born before emancipation! She then stopped her education because she had to take care of her grandmother at a young age. She then married at 19 to a barber, Raymond Parks, and this was the last name she carried for the rest of her life!

He was a long-time member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and ten years her senior. Therefore, he then encouraged her to take a stand for people suffering from racial bias and oppression.

Parks attended a school with just one room! It was difficult, but she worked hard from a very young age. She loved reading history books, which inspired her to achieve success in the social environment in terms of equality, awareness, and development.

What Happened?

An accomplished activist, Rosa Parks was an accomplished activist by the time she was arrested! The day she was arrested for refusing to leave the seat to a white passenger, she was more tired than trying to take a stand for racial treatment. When I read about her activism, I realized that there were some similarities with another activist, Harriet Tubman!

However, her one-act increased awareness among all Black and white people. The practice of segregated public transit was a difficult process for all black women, and they were mostly arrested based on their interaction with white people.

The force with which the Montgomery Improvement Association and the local NAACP supported her created the better world we see today in terms of racial practices.

Civil Rights Activism

Civil Rights Activism

On 1 December 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Alabama! The back of the bus was reserved for African Americans, but instead of going to the back, she sat in the front. The bus driver asked her to move when the bus started filling up with white passengers.

Even a white passenger asked her to move to the back of the bus, but she refused. This refusal set in motion her journey against racial injustice practices. Even before her bus incident, she was the elected secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 because she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. As an organized leader and organizer, Parks worked hard to expose public transportation’s racial bias. This incident sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and other people were inspired by her rebellion and raised her voice.

She worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on civil rights along with the NAACP. She played a pivotal role in ensuring no racial prejudice and spreading awareness about equality among minority citizens of the States. Remember, Shirley Chisholm was another activist who contributed to child welfare and early education!

The whole process is mostly based on resolving all barriers to racial discrimination without using violence and, in the future, with democratic processes. Parks was not someone who only fought for minority groups but for all! Along with that, she focused on opportunities and promoting equal rights for everyone.

Parks Institute And Legacy

Parks Institute And Legacy

Mrs. Rosa Parks and Ms. Elaine Eason Steele co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute in 1987. They honored Raymond Parks after they founded this institute. She and Ms. Elaine dedicated their lives to human rights and were committed to civil rights and awareness.

She emphasized the significance of education, spiritual awareness, and positive vibes. According to her, these aspects were the founding pillars of the Parks Institute and Legacy she founded. The institute was a step towards the Freedom movement, which is an inspiration to youth, then and now!

The institute created a pathway towards creating a positive environment along with education. The people who receive the support of this institute believe in fighting hard against all social challenges, oppression, bias, and obstructions.

The people who created this institute and worked on it to make a better space believe in peace. They believe in resolving all obstacles with non-violence; hence, the focus is on inspiring people to resolve issues through open communication.

The Rosa Parks Museum of Troy University is a memorial honoring the life and works of Rosa Parks during civil Rights. It has been created near the site in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, where Parks was arrested. The museum has created a platform for positive engagement in social change, civil engagement, and supporting scholarly dialogue.

Personal Beliefs And Values

Personal Beliefs And Values

She was a strong advocate for equal opportunities and rights for all individuals, especially during a time when few people could stand in the face of challenges and oppressive acts against minority groups. As an individual, she was quite aware of the education young people needed to become assets to society.  

Rosa Parks became an integral part of the large African American community, along with Raymond Parks, and everyone respected them. They were the ones who raised awareness regarding segregation laws along with everyday oppression and bias in attending schools, visiting parks, and eating or drinking from specific eateries.

It was according to the segregation laws introduced by Jim Crow, there were specific water fountains that black people could use to drink. There were specific black libraries from which they could borrow. It is a clear example of racism; hence, Rosa advocated these shortcomings.

Proper education, training, and effective interaction can help young people become good citizens. The emphasis is on self-belief and positive thinking, as she gave her best to create a step towards freedom and growth.

She also insisted on a future where people could live peacefully and have a better life! By better life, I mean a developed lifestyle in which the American dream was to achieve everything and stay successful.

Finishing Off…

Summing up, Rosa Parks was one of the significant individuals who played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement. The advocacy that could be seen through her actions continues to inspire so many people worldwide to strive for justice and equality.

She believed in freedom from a very young age, so she worked hard to bring that freedom not just for herself but also for other members of minorities. Her initiatives helped many black families and children because they shaped their future.

Comment on any unique elements of civil rights and how Rosa Parks did her best to achieve equality!

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sagnika sinha

Sagnika Sinha is a content writer who is passionate about writing travel vlogs, entertainment and celebrity articles and literature-based pieces. With a 4 years experience in teaching, she loves reading books. A procrastinator by nature, she loves travelling, listening to music, planting and gardening.

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