Black History Month profile: Rosa Parks


Underwood Archives

Rosa Parks seated toward the front of the bus, Montgomery, Alabama, 1956. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Would you consider yourself an activist? Well, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks most definitely was. Parks was an American activist during the civil rights movement. She lived her life to the fullest from Feb. 4, 1913 to Oct. 24, 2005.  Parks played her most significant role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  The United States Congress even ruled her as “The First Lady of Civil Rights” and “The Mother of the Freedom Movement.” Parks became so famous when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to white man in Huntsville, Al in 1955. Parks stated “People always say I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

Her actions here inspired the leaders of the African American community in her area to start the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott was led by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, which lasted longer than a year. In December, Parks was found guilty of violating segregation laws. Bus boycotts ended when the Supreme Court ruled segregation on buses unconstitutional. Parks became a prominent symbol of dignity and strength as she fought for equal rights. Though she still faced harassment and threats throughout the rest of her life, she was a true American Hero.