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Rosa Parks - Rosa Louise McCauley Parks

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Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, better known as Rosa Parks, in an important figure in not only American history, but in everyday life. She was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4th, 1913. She often was sick as a child, and grew up on a farm for most of her life. She attended some schooling, but was eventually forced to drop out when her family became ill. She continued to grow up and married Raymond Parks in 1932, and spent most of her time doing small menial jobs ranging in whatever work she could find. About ten years later, she became active in the Civil Rights movement and joined the NAACP.

Parks is most known for refusing to give up her seat on the Cleveland Avenue bus on December 1st, in 1955. After paying her fare, and sitting in the colored section of the bus, the bus passed Empire Theater, where several white men boarded. The driver then signaled for Parks and three other blacks to move to the back, which was completely of the norm in this day, and the others complied. Parks however, sat her ground and refused to get up. She was arrested and charged with a violation, and sent to jail. At her trial she was fined 14 dollars, and announced the boycott on buses that would be occurring the next day. The boycott was extremely successful, since buses primarily depended on African-American riders, and eventually segregation on buses was no longer.

After the whole ordeal ended, Rosa Parks became a national icon. She chose to travel and speak across the country, talking about her story and boycott that led to the end of a type of segregation. Parks did many things in the future such as writing a book, having scholarships set up in her name, and even worked as a secretary and receptionist in Detroit. She eventually died on October 24th, 2005 at the age of 92. She received many honors and awards upon her death, and the actual bus Parks rode on is on display today at the Henry Ford Museum.



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