BORN4 February 1913

DIED24 October 2005

WIKI: Rosa Parks

The Rosa Parks story (dramatisation) | History - True Stories

More KS2 History

3:26 / 11:28

The Rosa Parks story (dramatisation) | History - True Stories

Suitable for teaching 5-11s. Rosa Parks tells the story of her life, and how her refusal to give up her seat on the bus in Alabama in 1955 led towards equality and justice for everyone, whatever the colour of their skin.

Rosa Parks: The First Lady Of The Civil Rights Movement (Civil Rights Documentary) | Timeline

In Montgomery, the first ten seats of every bus were reserved for white patrons, regardless of whether or not they were being used. It was common to see blacks standing over the empty seats. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks and three other black passengers were asked to move from their seats which were behind the white section in order to allow a white man to be seated. The three others conceded after being threatened. However, Ms. parks continued to refuse and was arrested, jailed, booked, fingerprinted and fined. Three friends of Rosa Parks arrived at jail to post her bond: a white liberal lawyer, Clifford Durr; his wife, a white civil rights activist who employed Rosa as a seamstress; and E.D. Nixon, the former Vice President of the NAACP's state and local branches for whom Rosa worked as a secretary. On December 5, 1955, a successful boycott of the bus system gave the Montgomery Improvement Association momentum and the boycott continued.

In the second month the boycott was almost 100% effective involving more than 30,000 black riders. On December 20, 1956, Montgomery officials received a ruling by the Supreme Court which declared segregated seating on the buses to be unconstitutional. Parks' act of refusing to give up her seat fueled the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Rosa Parks has been called "the first lady of civil rights" (Sunday News Magazine, New York, 24 May, 1961). She has received numerous awards including the NAACP's Spingarn Medal (1979) and in 1980, Parks became the first woman to receive the Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize. In addition, she holds ten honorary degrees.