My Story is an autobiography written by Rosa Mcauley Parks, a strong name in the African American civil-rights activist. Rosa’s life growing up in the south during the early 1900’s when racism and segregation was not only a law but instilled into the younger society by their elders. Segregation laws separated people of different nationalities and color from certain areas to live, having certain jobs and going to school.
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Some years later Rosa met her husband Raymond Parks though they did not have children life alone was a struggle being an African American in these times. But through hard work, and determination with the help of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People whom Rosa was the secretary, they were able to pave the way and make a great change for African Americans everywhere.
In the beginning of the book Rosa describes her childhood in Montgomery, Alabama. She talks about how her grandfather would sit on the porch with a shotgun to be prepared for confrontations with white threats such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Many black families just took the abuse, but some fought back like Rosa’s family they were one of the few that did not tolerate the injustice. Growing up was hard for Rosa the constant abuse and negligence of whites made it hard even at an early age due to the constant exclusion from activities and rights as whites. If Rosa was included, then it was most times by being harassed and being belittled and called racial slurs or bullying by whites, this didn’t set well with Rosa. Violence towards those of color was a common occurrence in those days. Rosa’s intolerance of the cruel treatment of blacks was the early beginnings of Rosa Park’s being an activist.
As a young woman Rosa met her husband Raymond who was a very active and longtime member of the NAACP, shortly after the marriage Rosa joined the cause of the NAACP as a secretary and fought alongside her husband and many others that were fighting to pave the way towards equality for African Americans. The NAACP successfully ended segregation in schools, and although they did not gain voting rights for all they went along to do other remarkable things for people of color.
On December 1st, 1955 Rosa was arrested for not giving up seat on the front of the bus to a white man. She was later arrested and charged with violation of segregation law. The NAACP bailed Rosa out of jail and capitalized on the headline to set a example of the unfair arrest of Rosa due to the segregation laws After the arrest Rosa was viewed as the catalyst for segregation law. The buses in Montgomery were mostly used by African Americans for transportation to and from work but had segregated sections whites sat in the front of the bus and African Americans were forced to sit and even stand in the back and were sometimes kicked off the bus to make room for whites, it was a sign of the times and not such a proud time in history. On the 5th of December 1955 most, African Americans boycotted the busses which dramatically decreased the amount of money made by the bus companies. There were many sacrifices made in the name of the greater good, some lost their jobs or were fined but the strength of many prevailed that day in making a difference that would make the history books, segregation was ended after a year of the busses being boycotted the NCAPP finally won. After the segregation ended it was hard for Rosa and her family to get back to a normal life, Rosa was now very involved as an activist. Rosa was a champion of other causes as well such as fighting for equal education and suffrage for people of all races.
Rosa then went to work for the congress as a secretary for Congressman John Conyers Jr. Rosa later retired in 1988, her husband brother and mother all died from cancer between the years of 1977 and 1979 but Rosa still did not give up her advocating for others she co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, to serve Detroit’s youth. She later traveled to lend support to civil rights and wrote an auto biography “Rosa Parks: My Story” in 1999. Parks was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor the highest honor awarded to a civilian, when she died at the age of 92 on October 24, 2005. She became the first woman in the nation’s history to be lay to rest in the state U.S. Capitol.
This woman was an icon from history and our world is a much better place because of Rosa Park’s and her family’s unwillingness to let the injustice of African Americans continue. The way we treated persons of color makes me ashamed. Everyone should be equal and with dignity and respect. It makes me sad that even in todays world there seems to be a divide between in people.
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