Rosa Parks, one of the most monumental women in United States history. Rosa Parks really helped remove segregation in America and was a Civil Rights Activist during the 1940s and continued until the end of segregation. Rosa Louise McCauley was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama to mother Leona and father James McCauley. Leona was an elementary school teacher for over 40 years, Mr. McCauley was a carpenter in Montgomery, Alabama, even though Rosa was born in Tuskegee, she grew up in Montgomery.
Rosa went to high school at Highlander Folk HS, where she did very well as a student. She would later go to Alabama State for Teachers as she thought she wanted to teach alike her mother did. She ended up dropping out as her grandmother became very ill. Parks also recalls many incidents where racism occurred, one of her most memorable was when her Grandmother stood at the house door with a shotgun as the KKK walked out in front of their house.
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Rosa Parks enjoyed attending church with her family, and was also a participant in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. And before she went to public school, she was homeschooled, and would take many vocational and educational classes. She had taken interest in teaching because of her mother. Rosa also loved school, unfortunately she had started at the age of 11 years old because of Jim Crow laws, and also had to drop out early.
As an African-American woman in the 1930-50s, life was very hard. As Jim Crow laws and segregation were impossible to ignore and really affected her quality of life. Gender equality was also not existent at her point in time. Knowing this, Rosa still had to work to provide for herself. This would one day lead to the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Montgomery was a place of radical racial segregation and was incredibly hard to live in for any black person. On December 5, 1955, Rosa was coming back from work, and was taking the bus back home when she had sat down after a hard and long day at work. A white man at a bus stop walked on to the bus and ordered Rosa to leave, Rosa refused. This led to Rosa being imprisoned, many African-Americans in Montgomery decided to stand up with Rosa, and went on strike with the Bus Company. The African-American community didn’t take the bus and instead walked for 380 days, until the law that not matter your race you can sit down on a bus.
Rosa Parks became a symbol for the struggle for civil rights. Due to severe harassment by bigots, she and her family were forced to leave Alabama and move to Michigan, but she continued to promote civil rights for the rest of her life. She received many honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. She only had used her platform to push for equality for African-Americans and had solidified herself in history as one of the most influential people in the ending of Jim Crow laws. Unfortunately, Rosa Parks passed away on October 24, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan. Rosa’s impact will always be engraved and never forgotten is United States history.
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