Essay on Rosa Parks

Submitted By savannawoods
Words: 1967
Pages: 8

Early Life Rosa Parks, born as Rosa Louise McCauley, was born on Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913. She was born to the parents of Leona Edwards, who was a teacher, and James McCauley, a stonemason and a carpenter. Parks spent most of her childhood living with her mother's parents in Pine Level, a small town located in southeast Montgomery County. Parks started her education there in Pine Level in an all-black school that had fifty students and a single teacher. At the age of eleven, she was enrolled in the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls where she learnt to cook, sew, and take care of a house under the instruction of northern whites. At the age of sixteen, Parks was forced to quit school and take care of her mother. She cleaned houses for whites on the side for some extra money. At the age of twenty, Parks married Raymond Parks, a barber from Wedowee, Alabama (Galliard). When Parks first met Raymond, she tried to avoid him and wasn't very fond of him. Raymond was eventually able to talk to Parks and she ended up liking Raymond and they ended up married (Landden and Bowen). After marrying Raymond, Parks went back to school and worked to get her high school diploma. She received her high school diploma at the age of twenty-one. A Civil Rights Activist In 1943, although Raymond didn't approve of it, Parks started working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She worked as a secretary and often worked long shifts. Parks liked working for the NAACP a lot and it ended up being a very good job. Later in the year, Parks had her first incident with a bus driver. It had been a rainy day and Rosa had been waiting for a bus to take her home. When the bus eventually arrived, she got on and paid the fare, but instead of getting back off the bus and walking back onto the bus through the back doors, she walked through the white section of the bus and sat down in her seat. Then, the bus driver got up and walked to the back of the bus where Parks was sitting. He demanded that she get off the bus and walk through the appropriate doors. "Rosa refused and after much quarrelling, she finally got off the bus and walked home in the pouring rain," (Landden and Bowen). As one may be able to see, at an early stage was already tired of being pushed around. She decided that she would rather walk home then do what the bus driver told her to do (Landden and Bowen). As Parks once said, "The more we [, the blacks,] gave in and complied, the worse they treated us" (Landden and Bowen). She had also said, "...we did not wish to continue being second-class citizens" (www.achievement.org). Parks was ready for change. Parks' involvement in the NAACP was huge. She worked with NAACP's state president, Edgar Daniel Nixon, to work on getting voter registration in Montgomery. In that same year, Parks was elected as the secretary of the Montgomery branch. In the 1950s, Parks had a part-time job working as a seamstress for Virginia and Clifford Durr who encouraged Rosa in her civil rights work (www.africanaonline.com). Leading up to the boycott, the NAACP was trying to test the segregation laws of Montgomery. One of the candidates to start the bus boycott was Claudette Culvin. She ended up getting pregnant and the NAACP knew that it would look bad in court with a pregnant, un-married woman. The next candidate was Loise Smith, but she gave in too easily. They finally selected Parks as their candidate. Even though Parks was a candidate to boycott the buses, her actual boycott was not planned, it just happened (Landden and Bowen). As Rosa Parks said herself, "A person should not take a stand to make history. Taking a stand for what is right is most important" (40-41).
The Montgomery Bus Boycott On Thursday, December 1, 1955, Parks' beliefs were shown to all. That evening, Parks boarded a crowded bus on her way home from work and took a seat in the colored section. At one of the…