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Rosa Louise Parks

Alice Bandi



Rosa Parks was a courageous woman, who became a symbol of civil rights.She was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama and died on October 24, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan.


Rosa Parks was the daughter of James Henry McCauley, a carpenter and stonemason, and Leona Carlie Edwards, an elementary school teacher, who married on April 12, 1912. During the war her mother worked in Detroit, Michigan,and Rosa saw that Northern African Americans had more freedom than Southern African Americans.Rosa grew up in an environment where racism was very present.In 1932, at just 19 years old, she married the barber Raymond Parks, an activist in the African-American civil rights movement.In the meantime, Rosa works as a seamstress and dedicates herself more and more to political activity.


On December 1, 1955, Rosa was in Montgomery riding the bus home from her job as a seamstress. Finding no other free seats, he occupied the first place behind the area reserved for whites.After three stops, the driver James F. Blake asked her to get up and move to the back of the vehicle to give way to a white passenger. Rosa refused to move or leave her seat. The driver stopped the vehicle and called two police officers to resolve the matter: Rosa Parks was arrested, was then jailed on charges of "improper conduct", but a few hours after the incident she was released from prison thanks to Clifford Durr, a lawyer white and anti-racist, always involved in the battle for the civil rights of the African-American community, who decided to pay the woman's bail.

The news of Rosa Parks' arrest and the episode spreads quickly: the African-American population is ready to protest.Martin Luther King and other leaders of the movement learned of the initiative and helped organize and spread it. The following day, December 5, the Montgomery public transport boycott began, a protest that lasted for 381 days; Dozens of buses sat idle for months until the law legalizing segregation was removed.In 1956, Rosa Parks' case reached the United States Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that segregation on public buses in Alabama was unconstitutional. From that moment, Rosa Parks became an icon of the civil rights movement.



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