Rosa Parks

by D'Angelo from San Diego

"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired," wrote Parks in her autobiography, "but that isn't true. I was not tired physically... No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in." (Rosa Parks). Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1913 February 4th. She was recognized for the hard work she did for civil rights. These awards were the Spingarn Medal for her work in civil rights, in 1996, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1999, and she was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. Most importantly on December 1st 1955 she made a huge decision that changed the course for black's dramatically by refusing the orders of the white bus driver to sit in the back. By being sent to jail it caused one of the largest boycotts in history. Which lead to blacks being able to sit in the front, but most importantly it was one of the major events that paved a way for equal `rights for blacks. A hero must possess Perseverance, Courage, and Bravery. A person who is perseverant is person who can continue to fight and have the strength to do something even through tough times. A person who is courageous is brave enough to do something that most can't. They have the ability to do things that could cost them a lot. Each one of these words is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks displays perseverance, courage, and bravery therefore she is a hero because she displays these traits.

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Although racial discrimination was prevalent in society back in the 1950's, Rosa Parks persevered through the obstacles that faced her. Rosa once said, "There was not much I could do except struggle on. There were times when it would have been easy to fall apart or to go in the opposite direction, but somehow felt that if I took one more step someone would come along to join me"(Rosa Parks). This displays she's perseverant because even through all the bad things that were happening around her and around her, she was able to keep going and hope that other people would follow, which they did. The more people that supported her, was less people against what she and all blacks believed in. She could have easily soaked in all the amiss that was happening and spent her life being treated like leftover trash, but she knew that if she stepped up she was making a huge change. Americas Story stated that "While working as a tailor's assistant. Mrs .Parks served as a chapter secretary. Later, she advised the NACCP Youth Council. Denied the right to vote on at least two occasions because of her race. Rosa Parks also worked with the Voters League to prepare blacks to register to vote" (Americas Story).This is important because being put down so many times, continued to fight for what she believed in. To be continuously put down is hard to bounce back and try again, but Rosa Parks was a special person she had an ability that most people don't have. Back then; especially in the 1950'sdiscrimination was at its high, and to be able to fight against a power that seemed greater than blacks at the time seemed crazy. Rosa knew that if someone could make a stand then it was one more step to achieving in what she believed in, and what we believed in. Discrimination was a huge factor back in the 1950's, there were lot obstacles that were in her way but Rosa Parks displayed perseverance, smashed her way bit by bit through each stone. ).

Courage takes a lot of strength and Mrs. Parks had inner and mental strength that most people don't obtain. stated, "As the bus Rosa was riding continued on its route, it began to fill with white passengers. Eventually, the bus was full and the driver noticed that several white passengers were standing in the aisle. He stopped the bus and moved the sign separating the two sections back one row and asked four black passengers to give up their seats. Three complied, but Rosa refused and remained seated. The driver demanded, "Why don't you stand up?" to which Rosa replied, "I don't think I should have to stand up." The driver called the police and had her arrested. Later, Rosa recalled that her refusal wasn't because she was physically tired, but that she was tired ofgiving in. The police arrested Rosa at the scene and charged her with violation of Chapter 6, Section 11, of the Montgomery City Code" ( This shows she has courage because back then standing up to a white person was so rare and scary that was almost like a sin. But she had enough courage and strength to do it that it helped stir people to take action. This action helped Martin Luther King Jr. and the NACCP to boycott and was also one of the first major steps that led to equal rights for blacks. Rosa Parks had enough courage to keep sitting, during that time it was so unthinkable to do a thing like that. History also complied, "During her tenure in Conyers' employ, Rosa lost her brother, spouse, and mother. Raymond's demise came in 1977 after a five-year struggle with cancer. Three months later her brother Sylvester met the same fate. And in 1979, her mother Leona also died of cancer. In August of 1994, Parks was briefly hospitalized for injuries she sustained after a thief broke into her Detroit home, robbed her of fifty dollars, and hit her. (Community outrage over her assault led to the quick arrest of her assailant.) Having had no children, Rosa was left alone except for distant relatives. But despite personal tragedy and failing health, Rosa continued to work tirelessly for the rights of all people. In October 1995 she participated in the Million Man March in Washington D.C., giving an inspirational speech" (History). This shows courage because even with all those deaths and catastrophe happening in a short span of time, she was still able to go to work and do her best to reach goals that she was reaching for herself and all the blacks facing discrimination. It takes courage to keep doing things for other people especially when you're getting most of thing that you want. Courage seemed to have been born into Rosa Parks' blood; she displayed courage throughout her whole life. She had to keep striving for what she believed in even if it meant sacrificing herself for others.

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Bravery was comes from within, a hero must contain bravery to do things that other can't; Rosa was that said that, "Rosa's health was poor, her growth appeared to be stunted, and she also suffered from chronic tonsillitis. These problems compounded kept her out of school for a year. When she returned, however, Rosa observed the many differences between the white and black schools. Blacks had to build and heat their own schools, whereas white schools were funded by the town, county, or state. There were no buses to transport blacks, and black children attended school for five months while white students went for nine. Such a discrepancy existed because the majority of black parents were sharecroppers, and their children were needed in the spring and fall to plow, plant, and harvest" (History). It is important because even at a young age with all the problems she faced mentally and physically she was brave enough to help her family and do her best to get an education. She was brave enough to get what she wanted fight do things for family which eventually translated to her when she got older. "Although Raymond had previously discouraged her out of fear for her safety, in December 1943 Rosa also joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and she became chapter secretary. She worked closely with chapter president Edgar Daniel (E.D.) Nixon. Nixon was a railroad porter known in the city as an advocate for blacks who wanted to register to vote, and also as president of the local branch of the Brother Hood of Sleeping Car Porters union." (History). This is important because she was brave enough work for an organization that could have cost her life. She was able to work hard even if her life was on the line. Parks was brave enough to do what she believed in. Her bravery is what kept her going she was able to fight for what was right. Bravery is what can set a lot of people apart, and that's what set her apart from most people.

Rosa Parks' shows courage, bravery, and perseverance that's why she's not just my hero she's idol. Rosa Parks went through mental and physical things that most people couldn't with stand she was able to help blacks receive rights and her strength was is what kept her going. She inspires me because she shows that even through tough times you can do things that you set your mind to. She can inspire others because she was able to influence to strive what they want and work for what they believe in. In life there are people who are good and great but the great ones are the ones who fight for what they want and put in the work to do it.


Rosa Parks." Contemporary Heroes and Heroines. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 2 May 2014

"Rosa Parks." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 10 May 2014

"Rosa Parks Was Arrested for Civil Disobedience." Rosa Parks Was Arrested for Civil Disobedience. Americas Story, n.d. Web. 12 May 2014.

Page created on 5/25/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/25/2014 12:00:00 AM

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