One of America’s iconic figures for the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks spearheaded the freedom to use public facilities amongst all Americans regardless of race or creed. Born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama she was used to the widespread discrimination entrenched within the society of that time. Actively involved in the local civil rights movement, she belonged to the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). Due to economic hardship, she relocated from Montgomery, Alabama to Detroit where she spent the rest of her life.
Fact 1. Rosa Parks’s grandparents were former slaves who fought for equality and freedom. She grew up in an environment and period of history when white supremacists groups such as the Ku Klux Klan abounded.
Fact 2. During the time of her schooling, she walked to school, as school buses were restricted to whites.
Fact 3. Rosa Parks sparked the civil rights movement when she refused to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger because she was tired of giving in. This was the start of nationwide efforts in ending segregation of public facilities.
Fact 4. The civil rights movement gained momentum and prominence nationwide with the supportive action exhibited by the African American community towards the boycott of public facilities. It also gained greater legitimacy for civil rights leaders, most notably Martin Luther King.
Fact 5. Rosa Parks received recognition as one of the 20 most influential people of the 20th century by Time magazine.
Fact 6. Rosa Parks is also known as the mother of the freedom movement. She was actively involved in the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) where she was the local secretary for twelve years.
Fact 7. In 1996, Rosa Parks was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honour bestowed upon a civilian by the US government.
Fact 8. Rosa Parks had the honour of being the first woman and second non-governmental official to be buried at the Capitol Rotunda.
Fact 9. The case that heard Rosa Park’s act of defiance against the bus segregation laws was called Browder v. Gayle, 1956.In June of 1956, Rosa Parks won this case.
Fact 10. On the first anniversary of her death, a statue was built in her honour and placed at the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.