Rosa Parks Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1913 - 2005 *** Full Name: Rosa Louise McCauley Parks *** Occupation: African-American Civil Rights Activist *** Date of Birth: Rosa Parks was born on February 4th 1913 *** Place of Birth: Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama USA *** Family background: Her father was James McCauley who made his living as a carpenter and her mother was Leona Edwards who had been a teacher *** Early life and childhood: She grew up with her younger brother Sylvester and after her parent’s separated, Rosa, Sylvester and her mother moved to Pine Level and lived on a farm with her maternal grandparents *** Education: Rosa Parks attended local schools as a small child, then the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery and briefly attended the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes before leaving to care for her relatives *** Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks Fact 1: Rosa Parks was born on February 4th 1913 and during the 20th century period in history when such things as cultural homogenization through development in transportation and communications technology as well as world population growth are all major issues in this century.
Rosa Parks Fact 2: Her first real experience of racism came as a child walking to school and being passed daily by busses carrying the white children to their schools while the black children walked.
Rosa Parks Fact 3: The next occasion came when the Ku Klux Klan marched in front of their house down the street and grandfather stood with his shotgun in front of their front door in case there was any trouble.
Rosa Parks Fact 4: By 1932 she married Raymond Parks a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Her husband encouraged her to complete her education and she did.
Rosa Parks Fact 5: Rosa Parks became an active member of the Civil Rights Movement in 1943 and also became a member of the NAACP in the Montgomery chapter.
Rosa Parks Fact 6: As the NAACP secretary Rosa Parks became involved in the gang rape case of Recy Taylor and helped organize the “Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs Recy Taylor”. The Chicago Defender called it “the strongest campaign for equal justice to be seen in a decade.”.
Rosa Parks Fact 7: In 1944 Rosa Parks took a job working on Maxwell Air Force Base and even though it was located in Alabama as a federal property it was not allowed to permit racial segregation which meant Rosa was able to ride the trolley with everybody else.
Rosa Parks Fact 8: Rosa Parks would also be fortunate to work for Virginia and Clifford Durr, a white couple who were liberal minded politically and even though Rosa worked for them as they housekeeper and seamstress they nevertheless became friends.
Rosa Parks Fact 9: Montgomery had passed a city ordinance for the purpose of segregating passengers in buses by race in 1900. This meant that the conductor could, at his discretion move the colored section sign as he felt necessary at any time during a journey. Black people could only sit in the back of the bus and never directly opposite a white person. They paid their fair upon entering the bus but were not allowed to walk through to the back of the bus, they would have to exit and walk to the mid-section and re-enter the bus and take a seat or stand in the back. If the bus filled up with white people the black passengers could be forced to leave the bus, before their destination, to make room.
Rosa Parks Fact 10: On one such occasion Rosa Parks boarded a bus, paid her fair and made her way to a seat, the driver directed her to get off the bus and enter at the rear. She got off and waited for the next bus, resolving never to ride with the driver again. That incident took place in 1943 and the driver was James F. Blake.
Rosa Parks Fact 11: Twelve years later in 1955 Rosa Parks was riding the bus on her way home after a full day’s work. She was sat directly behind the designation sign and the bus filled up with white people so more seats were required. The driver was Blake and Rosa had not noticed. Three other black passengers moved to the back when told to but Rosa refused, the driver threatened to call the police if she did not move and she told him to make the call. Rosa Parks was arrested. Later she remarked “I only knew that, as I was being arrested, that it was the very last time that I would ever ride in humiliation of this kind…”.
Rosa Parks Fact 12: A Montgomery Bus Boycott and was endorsed by the Women’s Political Council. Leaflets were handed out requesting all black people, men, women and children, to stay off the bus for the whole of that Monday. Not one black person travelled on a bus that day.
Rosa Parks Fact 13: It was decided that Rosa Park’s would be the ideal candidate for a test cast against the city and state segregation laws. The boycott continued for three hundred and eighty one days. The bus company was in financial trouble and Martin Luther King wrote “Actually, no one can understand the action of Mrs Park’s unless he realizes that eventually the cup of endurance runs over, and the human personality cries out, ‘I can take it no longer.’”.
Rosa Parks Fact 14: During the 1960’s after she had been arrested Rosa Parks became the Civil Rights Movement icon but still underwent hardships even so.
Rosa Parks Fact 15: Unable to get work in Montgomery, the family moved to Hampton in Virginia but were persuaded to move on to Detroit where her brother and his family lived. Detroit was attempting to encourage a more progressive reputation but once there she found it still felt the same.Rosa Parks Fact 17: This decade would also prove a personally difficult time for Rosa Parks, her husband contracted throat cancer and died in August of 1977 and her only sibling, her brother Sylvester also died of cancer in November.
Rosa Parks Fact 16: During the 1970’s Rosa Parks was organizing freedom for political prisoners in the United States in particular those of self-defense.
Rosa Parks Fact 18: After a nasty fall, resulting in broken bones Rosa moved to senior living with her mother until, having nursed her mother through cancer and dementia she too passed away in 1979.
Rosa Parks Fact 19: Having spent several years absent from the Civil Rights Movement, she became involved once more, co-founding the Rosa L Parks Scholarship Foundation to which all of her speaking fees were donated.
Rosa Parks Fact 20: Rosa Louise Parks died on October 29th 2005 of natural causes in her home in Detroit aged ninety two. Her body laid to rest at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.
Influence & Legacy of Rosa Parks: In 1996 the President of the United States, Bill Clinton awarded Rosa Parks the Presidential Medal of Freedom and later was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. She was also listing amongst “The 20 most influential People of the 20th Century”. She fought her whole life for the rights of the black man, woman and child and accomplished much in her life.
Short Facts about Rosa Parks for Kids
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