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The Story of Rosa Parks

By Tuesday 1 December 2009History, Thinking

On today in 1955 in the state of Alabama a black woman called Rosa Parks sat on a “black seat” on the bus. Rosa had worked a long day as a seamstress (a job sewing and making clothes). In these times it was the law was that a black person had to give up their seat for a white person, if a white person couldn’t find a “white seat”. This was called the segregation law, which also stated that black and whites had to sit on specific areas of the bus. Black people didn’t have equal rights to white people.

A white man was unable to find a “white seat” and the bus driver demanded that Rosa Parks gave up her seat to the white man. Rosa refused and the bus driver had her arrested. Rosa was found guilty of breaking the law and ordered to pay $14. This doesn’t sound like a lot of money but was significantly more in those days when pay was lower. Rosa was bailed out of jail by her friend Mr. Nixon, a civil rights leader.

The majority of black people successfully boycotted the buses for 13 months, finding alternative ways to and from work. The bus companies relied on the money from their mistreated black passengers. The boycott came to an end when the United States Supreme Court ruled that the segregation laws were not legal. This perhaps wouldn’t have happened without Rosa Parks standing up to what she felt was wrong. In 1992, Rosa Parks said of the bus story: “The real reason of my not standing up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passenger.”

Today Rosa Parks’ story is taught to children worldwide in primary schools. This is so that we never forgot how minority groups (such as black people) have been treated in the past: unfair and unequal. This is the same reason I post the story of Rosa Parks, let’s never forget our history and let’s certainly never repeat it.

Blog about equality again soon,


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  • Chris says:

    I enjoy reading positive and motivational stories like this one. The power that ordinary people can have sometimes is formidable. Equality is a basic human right and without brave individuals like Rosa Parks, who courageously put herself in the firing line, where would we be? Sometimes when an individual takes a stand he or she may have a lot to lose such as their job, financial security or even their liberty, but in my opinion the sacrifice is always worth it. Rosa’s bravery encouraged a whole section of society to protest alongside her and fortunately, standing together, they won their struggle to be treated as equals.

  • Antony says:

    Yeah me too. That’s why it was a real personal honour to retell this story and explain what it means to me.

    A x

  • Tami Alario says:

    Tomorrow i will come back here to finish reading. Do you update daily?

  • Antony says:

    Hi Tami,

    Thanks for the comment. I try to post a blog entry at least once a week, although it is often more.

    A x

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