Rosa Louise McCauley Parks is nationally recognized as the mother of the modern-day civil rights movement in America. She was not trying to start a movement. She was simply tired of the social injustice and did not think that a woman should be forced to stand so that a man could sit down. By refusing to surrender her seat to a white male passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus on December 1, 1955, she set in motion a chain of events that were felt throughout the United States. Her quiet, courageous act changed America and redirected the course of history.
On February 4, 1913, a little girl by the name of Rosa Louise McCauley was born. She was born at a time when black people in the south often lived in fear. Rosa McCauley, also known as Rosa Parks, lived with her mother, brother, and grandparents. Her father left the family when she was young. They all lived on a small farm in Pine Level, Alabama, near the city of Tuskegee. When Rosa was eleven years old, she went to a private school for black girls in Montgomery, Alabama. Not many blacks were able to get a good education, but Rosa's mother wanted her daughter to be special. She had saved money for years for Rosa's schooling. There were free public schools in Montgomery, but Rosa was not allowed to attend them. Those schools were for whites only. "Whites only" was something that Rosa would hear for most of her life. She could not drink at a public water fountain that said "whites only". She could not buy a meal in a restaurant or see a show in a movie theater that was for "whites only". She could not ride in the first elevator to be installed in Montgomery. That elevator was for "whites only". When Rosa was nineteen years old, she fell in love with Raymond Parks, and they got married on December 18, 1932. "Raymond was born in Wedowee, Alabama, in 1903 who his mother was Geri Parks," proclaimed Reed (pg. 19). Three years later, she finally finished high school... [continues]
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