Rosa Parks Research Paper

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A brave woman’s arrest impacted our nation in ways she never imagined it could. Rosa Parks’ simple act of courage, refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a public bus, is what started the civil rights movement. She is often referred to as the “mother of the civil rights movement” (Hare, 2008) Rosa Louise McCauley was born on February 4, 1913 to James and Leona McCauley. Soon after, her family moved in with her grandparents, both of whom were former slaves and advocates for racial equality. Rosa faced discrimination at a young age, beginning with her small elementary school in Pine Level, Alabama. African-American students had to walk to their one-room school and often times went without adequate supplies, while their white peers received…show more content…
She had no idea what events would unfold that day. Because of Jim Crow laws, public buses, like many other amenities, were segregated. When a white man got on the bus and there were no seats available in the front, a bus driver by the name of James E. Blake ordered Rosa and three other black people to get up and move to the back. The other three were compliant, however, Rosa did not move. Even when the driver asked “Why won’t you stand up?” She remained seated and replied “I don’t think I should have to.” Eventually, two police officers placed Parks in custody, and four days later she was found guilty of violating segregation laws. Thanks to E.D. Nixon, chairman of the NAACP, the news of her arrest spread like wildfire. Thus, the “Montgomery Bus Boycott” was started. African-Americans refused to use public transportation and instead walked everywhere; some walked as far as 20 miles to work ( The boycott ended successfully in 1956, however, Rosa suffered greatly because of the ordeal. The Washington Informer states, “She [Rosa Parks] lost her job as a seamstress in a local department store, received numerous death threats, and eventually moved to Detroit both for safety reasons and to live out her life in privacy” (McNeir, 19). Shortly after she began working for congressman John Conyers, and continued to be an influential civil rights

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