Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.
Since December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Moreover, Parks’ prominence in the community and her willingness to become a controversial figure inspired the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year, the first major direct action campaign of the post-war civil rights movement. Similarly, her case became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit Browder v. Gayle succeeded in November 1956.
Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1913, to Leona (née Edwards), a teacher, and James McCauley, a carpenter. Likewise, she was of Cherokee-Creek descent with one of her great-grandmothers having been a documented Native American slave. Additionally, she had a Scots-Irish great-grandfather. Furthermore, she was small as a child and suffered poor health with chronic tonsillitis. When her parents separated, she moved with her mother to Pine Level, just outside the state capital, Montgomery. She grew up on a farm with her maternal grandparents, mother, and younger brother Sylvester. Similarly, they all were members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), a century-old independent black denomination founded by free blacks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the early nineteenth century.
Since 1932, Rosa tied a knot with Raymond Parks, a barber from Montgomery. He was a member of the NAACP, which at the time was collecting money to support the defence of the Scottsboro Boys, a group of black men falsely accused of raping two white women. Similarly, Rosa took numerous jobs, ranging from domestic worker to a hospital aide. At her husband’s urging, she finished her high school studies in 1933, at a time when less than 7% of African Americans had a high-school diploma.
Death and funeral
Parks died of natural causes on October 24, 2005, at the age of 92, in her apartment on the east side of Detroit. She and her husband never had children and she outlived her only sibling. She was survived by her sister-in-law (Raymond’s sister), 13 nieces and nephews and their families, and several cousins, most of them are the residents of Michigan or Alabama.
Further, City officials in Montgomery and Detroit announced on October 27, 2005, that the front seats of their city buses would be reserved with black ribbons in honour of Parks until her funeral.Parks’ coffin was flown to Montgomery and taken in a horse-drawn hearse to the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, where she lay in repose at the altar on October 29, 2005, dressed in the uniform of a church deaconess. Likewise, memorial service was held there the following morning.
- Full Name: Rosa Louise McCauley
- Date of Birth: February 4, 1913
- Birth Place: Tuskegee, Alabama, U.S.
- Date of Death: October 24, 2005
- Aged: 92
- Death Place: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
- Resting place: Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
- Occupation: Civil rights activist
- Known for: Montgomery bus boycott
- Movement: Civil Rights Movement
- Spouse(s): Raymond Parks (m. 1932; died 1977)
- Education: Highlander Folk School, etc.
- Awards: Presidential Medal of Freedom, etc.
CV Read More Lynn Good
Reference Rosa Parks