STORIES
Peacemakers

Rosa Parks

by Zahria from Honolulu

Rosa Parks sits on the bus (Google (www.colorlines.com))
Rosa Parks sits on the bus (Google (www.colorlines.com))

My hero is Rosa Louise McCauley Parks. She fought for peace between blacks and whites. Born as an African-American, little Rosa McCauley was treated very badly. Rosa was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her parents, Leona Edwards and James McCauley were both African-American as well. As a young child Rosa had bad health and chronic tonsillitis. When James and Leona separated, Rosa left to live with her maternal grandparents, her mother, and her younger brother Sylvester. She enrolled at the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery where she took vocational and academic courses. 

Wikipedia (Wikipedia)
Wikipedia (Wikipedia)

Rosa McCauley lived in a time where blacks and whites were segregated and forced to go to separate drinking fountains, bathrooms, restaurants, and even parts in the state. As a young woman Rosa had the unfortunate experience of having the Ku Klux Klan march down her road and right in front of her house. She married Raymond Parks, a barber from Montgomery also a member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white. She was arrested under the Jim Crow laws that kept the blacks and whites segregated. Rosa's jail number, 7053, is known in many different places. Even though Rosa was treated unfairly, she showed blacks how to stand up for themselves. After Parks was arrested the blacks in Alabama began taking African-American cabs instead of buses. This was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Story goes that a white man fired the family cook because she refused to take the bus to work. The man's wife said "If you don't go get her, you better be on your way." The bus company was furious with the boycott but did not do anything to the blacks. 

If it weren't for Rosa, Martin Luther King Jr, Bertha Knox, and many others, blacks would still be treated unfairly. That is why I remember Rosa Louise McCauley Parks. I am African-American and I wouldn't be free without her. Rosa died on October 24, 2005 at the age of 92 in Detroit, Michigan.  

Page created on 4/12/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/12/2012 12:00:00 AM

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