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Wikipedia Summary for Rosa Parks

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has honored her as "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake's order to vacate a row of four seats in the "colored" section in favor of a white passenger, once the "white" section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) believed that she was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, and she helped inspire the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year. The case became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit Browder v. Gayle resulted in a November 1956 decision that bus segregation is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation, and organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon and Martin Luther King Jr.. At the time, Parks was employed as a seamstress at a local department store and was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. She had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for training activists for workers' rights and racial equality. Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job, and received death threats for years afterwards. Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she briefly found similar work. From 1965 to 1988, she served as secretary and receptionist to John Conyers, an African-American US Representative. She was also active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US.

After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and continued to insist that there was more work to be done in the struggle for justice. Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. California and Missouri commemorate Rosa Parks Day on her birthday, February 4, while Ohio and Oregon commemorate the anniversary of her arrest, December 1.

quote by Rosa Parks: You must never be fearful about what you are doing what is right. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

You must never be fearful about what you are doing what is right.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: God has always given me the strength to say what is right. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

God has always given me the strength to say what is right.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: To this day I believe we are here on earth to live, grow, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

To this day I believe we are here on earth to live, grow, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I will always work for human rights for all people. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I will always work for human rights for all people.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: I talked and talked of everything I know about the white man's inhuman treatment of the Negro. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I talked and talked of everything I know about the white man's inhuman treatment of the Negro.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: We had a saying that we worked from can to can't, which means working from when you can see (sunup) to when you can't (sundown). with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

We had a saying that we worked from can to can't, which means working from when you can see (sunup) to when you can't (sundown).

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I had decided that I would not go anywhere with a piece of paper in my hand asking white folks for any favors. I had made that decision myself, as an individual. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I had decided that I would not go anywhere with a piece of paper in my hand asking white folks for any favors. I had made that decision myself, as an individual.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: It was just a matter of survivalーlike getting off the roadーso we could exist form day to day. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

It was just a matter of survivalーlike getting off the roadーso we could exist form day to day.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: What I learned best at Miss White's school was that I was a person with dignity and self-respect, and I should not set my sights lower than anybody else just because I was black. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

What I learned best at Miss White's school was that I was a person with dignity and self-respect, and I should not set my sights lower than anybody else just because I was black.

--Rosa Parks


quote by Rosa Parks: I knew someone had to take the first step. So I made up my mind not to move. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I knew someone had to take the first step. So I made up my mind not to move.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: You cannot always control the powers-that-be. You just have to have faith and stand by the things you believe in. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

You cannot always control the powers-that-be. You just have to have faith and stand by the things you believe in.

--Rosa Parks

Longer Version:

I learned to put my trust in God and to see Him as my strength. Long ago I set my mind to be a free person and not to give in to fear. I always felt that it was my right to defend myself if I could. I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. -- Rosa Parks.


quote by Rosa Parks: When I see the leadership roles black women are taking today I am very encouraged. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

When I see the leadership roles black women are taking today I am very encouraged.

--Rosa Parks


quote by Rosa Parks: As long as there is unemployment, war, crime and all things that go to the infliction of man's inhumanity to man, regardless -- there is much to be done, and people need to work together. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

As long as there is unemployment, war, crime and all things that go to the infliction of man's inhumanity to man, regardless -- there is much to be done, and people need to work together.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: My resisting being mistreated on the bus did not begin with that particular arrest…I did a lot of walking in Montgomery. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

My resisting being mistreated on the bus did not begin with that particular arrest…I did a lot of walking in Montgomery.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: I was determined to achieve the total freedom that our history lessons. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I was determined to achieve the total freedom that our history lessons.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I had been pushed as far as I could stand to be pushed. I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I had been pushed as far as I could stand to be pushed. I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I was ready to die but give my consent never. Never, never. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I was ready to die but give my consent never. Never, never.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: As long as people use tactics to oppress or restrict other people from being free, there is work to be done. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

As long as people use tactics to oppress or restrict other people from being free, there is work to be done.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I did not get on the bus to get arrested I got on the bus to go home. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I did not get on the bus to get arrested I got on the bus to go home.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress, and tired from the ache in my heart. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress, and tired from the ache in my heart.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day.

--Rosa Parks

Longer Version:

I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day, but I don't think there is anything such as complete happiness. It pains me that there is still a lot of Klan activity and racism. I think when you say you're happy, you have everything that you need and everything that you want, and nothing more to wish for. I haven't reached that stage yet.


quote by Rosa Parks: Since I have always been a strong believer in God, I knew that He was with me, and only He could get me through that next step. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Since I have always been a strong believer in God, I knew that He was with me, and only He could get me through that next step.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: When that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

When that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: What really matters is not whether we have problems, but how we go through them. We must keep going on to make it through whatever we are facing. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

What really matters is not whether we have problems, but how we go through them. We must keep going on to make it through whatever we are facing.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Racial pride and self-dignity were emphasized in my family and community. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Racial pride and self-dignity were emphasized in my family and community.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: All I was trying to do was get home from work. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

All I was trying to do was get home from work.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Arrest me for sitting on a bus? You may do that. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Arrest me for sitting on a bus? You may do that.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: If I can sit down for freedom, you can stand up for children. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

If I can sit down for freedom, you can stand up for children.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I thought about Emmett Till, and I could not go back. My legs and feet were not hurting, that is a stereotype. I paid the same fare as others, and I felt violated. I was not going back. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I thought about Emmett Till, and I could not go back. My legs and feet were not hurting, that is a stereotype. I paid the same fare as others, and I felt violated. I was not going back.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Nothing in the Golden Rule says that others will treat us as we have treated them. It only says that we must treat others in a way that we would want to be treated. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Nothing in the Golden Rule says that others will treat us as we have treated them. It only says that we must treat others in a way that we would want to be treated.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Victory or defeat? It is the slogan of all-powerful militarism in every belligerent nation. And yet, what can victory bring to the proletariat? with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Victory or defeat? It is the slogan of all-powerful militarism in every belligerent nation. And yet, what can victory bring to the proletariat?

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: If you want to be respected for your actions, then your behavior must be above reproach. If our lives demonstrate that we are peaceful, humble, and trusted, this is recognized by others. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

If you want to be respected for your actions, then your behavior must be above reproach. If our lives demonstrate that we are peaceful, humble, and trusted, this is recognized by others.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: It takes more than one person to bring about peace -- it takes all of us. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

It takes more than one person to bring about peace -- it takes all of us.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I see the energy of young people as a real force for positive change. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I see the energy of young people as a real force for positive change.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: It is better to protest than to accept injustice. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

It is better to protest than to accept injustice.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I thought of Emmett Till, and when the bus driver ordered me to move to the back, I just couldn't move. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I thought of Emmett Till, and when the bus driver ordered me to move to the back, I just couldn't move.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Without a vision the people perish, but without courage dreams die. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Without a vision the people perish, but without courage dreams die.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: The only tired I was, was tired of giving in. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: There is no future without education. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

There is no future without education.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I believe there is only one race -- the human race. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I believe there is only one race -- the human race.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: One person can change the world. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

One person can change the world.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I want to be treated like a human being. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I want to be treated like a human being.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: No. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

No.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: My only concern was to get home after a hard day's work. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

My only concern was to get home after a hard day's work.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: Whites would accuse you of causing trouble when all you were doing was acting like a normal human being instead of cringing. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Whites would accuse you of causing trouble when all you were doing was acting like a normal human being instead of cringing.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Why do you all push us around? with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Why do you all push us around?

--Rosa Parks


quote by Rosa Parks: It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn't feel like obeying his demand. I was quite tired after spending a full day working. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn't feel like obeying his demand. I was quite tired after spending a full day working.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute accepts people of any race. We don't discriminate against anyone. We teach people to reach their highest potential. I set examples by the way I lead my life. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute accepts people of any race. We don't discriminate against anyone. We teach people to reach their highest potential. I set examples by the way I lead my life.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: All I was doing was trying to get home from work. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

All I was doing was trying to get home from work.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take... The line between reason and madness grows thinner. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take... The line between reason and madness grows thinner.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I had felt for a long time that, if I was ever told to get up so a white person could sit, that I would refuse to do so. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I had felt for a long time that, if I was ever told to get up so a white person could sit, that I would refuse to do so.

--Rosa Parks

quote by Rosa Parks: At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.

--Rosa Parks


quote by Rosa Parks: I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Let us look at Jim Crow for the criminal he is and what he has done to one life multiplied millions of times over these United States and the world. He walks us on a tightrope from birth. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Let us look at Jim Crow for the criminal he is and what he has done to one life multiplied millions of times over these United States and the world. He walks us on a tightrope from birth.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: As far back as I can remember, I knew there was something wrong with our way of life when people could be mistreated because of the color of their skin. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

As far back as I can remember, I knew there was something wrong with our way of life when people could be mistreated because of the color of their skin.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Knowing what must be done does away with fear. with background image: low angle photo of city high rise buildings during daytime
Background Photo: Sean Pollock

Knowing what must be done does away with fear.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Each person must live their life as a model for others. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Each person must live their life as a model for others.

--Rosa Parks
quote by Rosa Parks: Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others. with background image: photo of author Rosa Parks with quote

Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.

--Rosa Parks

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