10 Interesting Facts about Rosa Parks

We previously talked about Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. on our website. Time to discover Rosa Parks today.

Rosa Parks is well-known for her strong involvement in many civil rights movements. Before we talk about that, however, let’s take a look at her early life and family:

  1. Rosa’s birth date is February 4, 1913. She saw the light of day in Tuskegee, which is situated in Alabama. Her parents were James and Leona McCauley. Here’s her full name: Rosa Louise McCauley. Sylvester was Rosa’s younger sibling. Another interesting fact: their parents worked as carpenter and teacher, respectively. When the two divorced, Rosa moved to another city in Alabama, called Pine Level, with her brother and mother. The house belonged to her grandparents, who used to be slaves;
  2. Rosa started attending a school where only African-American children were allowed. This institution lacked in various supplies and the kids didn’t have bus transportation to get to it from their homes;Rosa-Parks
  3. When Rosa was 16, her mother and grandmother fell ill. This marked the end of her studies because she decided to care for her sick relatives. After she stopped going to school, Rosa went to work at a shirt factory;
  4. 3 years later, Rosa and Raymond Parks got married. He was part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Raymond was the one to urge Rosa to finish her studies. In 1933, Rosa finally got her high school diploma;
  5. 10 years later, she joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. There, Rosa Parks was the chapter’s youth leader and then secretary to E.D. Nixon, president of the NAACP;
  6. Back in those days, Montgomery had a City Code. According to it, African American bus passengers had to sit in the back; white people sat in the front. The rows were separated by a line in the middle of the bus. Black passengers also had to do the following: pay the fare at the front, get off and board the bus again, this time using the door in the back. In case there was a larger number of whites boarding the vehicle, African-Americans were asked to leave the bus altogether. Should they have refused to do so, police would have been brought;
  7. In 1955, Rosa was arrested. The reason: she refused to give her seat to a white passenger. This situation prompted E.D. Nixon, Martin Luther King Jr. and other African-American leaders to initiate a boycott directed at the Montgomery city buses and their policy. This boycott was lead by the Montgomery Improvement Association, whose president was Martin Luther King Jr. As a result, racial segregation laws were declared unconstitutional in 1956. The boycott ended that same year after 381 days;
  8. After the arrest and the boycott, Rosa’s husband was fired and she lost her own job. They had to leave for Michigan; Rosa’s mother went with them. Rosa Parks worked in that city as a secretary and receptionist in John Conyer’s congressional office. Conyer was a U.S. Representative. She was also on the board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America;
  9. The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development was founded by Rosa and Elaine Eason Steele. The latter was a very good friend of Rosa’s;
  10. Rosa’s memoirs came out in 1992. The name of the book is Rosa Parks: My Story.

This important figure of Black history died in Michigan in 2005. She is buried in Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery.Rosa-Parks-older

More interesting facts about Rosa Parks:

  • according to her memoirs, she refused to give her seat to a white person because she was “tired of giving in.”;
  • during the 50th anniversary of Rosa’s arrest, seats in various buses used by American cities remained empty;
  • Apple Computer’s homepage featured Rosa Parks that same year;
  • the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan lets you visit the bus made famous by her;
  • Rosa received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (from Bill Clinton);
  • she was also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal;
  • in 2013, Barack Obama unveiled a statue in her honor in the Capitol building;
  • a U.S. Postal Service stamp appeared earlier in 2013; it was called the Rosa Parks Forever stamp;
  • Rosa’s ancestry included Cherokee-Creek, African, and Scotish-Irish blood;
  • she and her husband didn’t have kids;
  • Rosa was known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”;
  • Sister Rosa was a song the Neville Brothers recorded about her;
  • Rosa was one of the people who welcomed Nelson Mandela after his imprisonment;
  • Quiet Strength is another book she wrote about her experiences;
  • she was named one of the 20 most powerful and influential figures of the century by the Time Magazine;
  • Rosa had a cameo in popular TV series Touched by an Angel;
  • a movie was made about her life and its name is The Rosa Parks Story.

1 Comment

  1. Lashanah Benally

    May 5, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    The bullets that were listed were interesting fact and the ones number everyone already knew

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