ROSA Parks changed history 60 years ago this week when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The courageous act propelled her to the front of the civil rights movement, and she remains a symbol of the struggle to this day
It all began in December 1955, when Parks was arrested for civil disobedience: She had refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a crowded bus in the racially segregated town of Montgomery, Alabama. Her defiance sparked the push for racial equality, which brought civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. into the public eye and changed the world forever.
She said she never planned to be arrested for breaking a racist law in 1955, but realised at the time that she had to make a stand.
Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them.
Parks was in the right place at the right time and she had the courage to act.
Parks’s civil disobedience kicked off a massive boycott and Supreme Court decision that affirmed that Alabama’s segregation laws were unconstitutional.
Rosa Parks once said: “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
Parks died in October of 2005, and was given memorial services to reflect her heroic legacy in Detroit, Montgomery, and Washington, D.C. She was the first woman in history to lie in state in the capitol rotunda, as well as the first American who was not a government official and the second African-American to do so.
Rosa Parks’ impact on history is undeniable.