Rosa Parks had an immense influence in the fight to abolish racism. She was particularly well known after her refusal to sit in the back of a segregated Montgomery bus in 1965. Rosa Parks helped promote both African American rights and female rights; she is respected worldwide today.
Rosa Parks was born as Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1913.
Her mother was Leona Edwards and her father James McCauley. Her father was a carpenter and her mother a teacher, and was of African American, Scots-Irish, and Cherokee-Creek ancestry. She had, overall, a very diverse ancestry background.
Rosa was born as a small baby, and she suffered from poor health and chronic tonsillitis.
After her parents separated, she moved with her mother to Pine Level, which was just outside Montgomery, Alabama.
Her early life began with growing up on a farm with her maternal grandparents, younger brother Sylvester, and mother.
She also began a lifelong membership in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and attended it every Sunday. She attended rural schools until eleven years of age, and then enrolled in the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery. It was there that she took academic and vocational courses.
Rosa then went on to a laboratory school afterwards, which was institutionalized by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes for a "secondary" education. She was later forced to leave the school early to take care of her grandmother. She later had to care for her mother as well, who later became very ill.
Rosa was born in the times of segregated Jim Crow laws, where black and white people were segregated in practically every way in everyday life. Fountains were divided into "black fountains" and "white fountains." Buses occasionally only ran for whites or blacks at the same time. Generally the bus system was segregated. Bathrooms were divided into two separate types: black bathrooms and white bathrooms.
Clothing shops were only for either whites or blacks, but hardly ever both. And, the worst of it all was that the government approved it they were the ones that instated the laws in the first place. "Separate but equal" was the description of the Jim Crow laws created by the United States federal government.
Parks remembered going to elementary school in Pine Level, where the school buses took white students to their schools and black students were required to walk to theirs.
"I'd see the bus pass everydayBut to me, that was a way of life; we had no choice but to accept what was the custom.
The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world."
It was through this frustration and many others that Parks refused to move to the back of the bus on the segregated transportation system in Montgomery, Alabama. She was physically tired and also tired of giving in; it was through this obdurate opinion that Parks fueled the Civil Rights Movement, changing the face of racism for many people today.
"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. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."References:- Rosa Parks. Wikipedia. Online. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks- Rosa Parks Biography. Academy of Achievement. Online. http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/par0bio-1- Personal family relations- interviews and requests for information