There are many people who make their mark in life. These people are remembered for their bravery and courage in making the world a better place for society. One of the most memorable figures, who was responsible for enabling the coloured people of America the freedom and the joy to live is Rosa Parks. Who is Rosa Parks? In this essay, you will know Rosa Parks and understand the sacrifices she made to make the world a better place.
Born to a middle-class African-American family, on the 4th of February 1913, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was a person whose family never thought would make such a difference in society. No one, least of all her family, thought she would be referred to as a great lady and the “first lady of civil rights”. How did she begin her journey? One day she got on a bus and refused to sit in the back as per the instructions of the bus driver, James F Blake. She was not the first person to stand up to the white dominance in those days. However, her contribution to it was just what the African American people needed to make a point for the Civil Rights Movement. This is the first thing Rosa Parks is known for, The Montgomery Bus Boycott. This incident provides us with an idea of her courage and bravery. Yet, it does not tell us who she really is.
Rosa’s mother was a teacher and her father was a carpenter. They were a middle-class family. Rosa had a brother and both grew up with their grandparents when their parents separated when she was two. Rosa was home schooled, although when she was 11, she attended Montgomery Industrial School for Girls. The training in the school made a significant impact on her. It made a difference in the way she looked at life. It made her more aware of her rights as a person and this is what guided her in her life. Racial prejudice was rampant in American during this time. African-Americans had very few rights and this was cause for unrest among the coloured people. They were not happy about the way they were being treated by the “white” people. Rosa noticed this when she and her friends had to walk to school while the “white” people went to school by bus.
Rosa had to drop out of college to attend to her ailing grandmother and later, her mother. She married Raymond Parks, in 1932, d a barber from Montgomery. Raymond was an extremely active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). Rosa worked hard to put food on the table and had multiple jobs. However, at the time of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa was working as a seamstress. Every day she had to sit in the back of the bus when she travelled to work. She and other coloured people were not permitted to get in from the front if there were white people sitting there. She had to buy her ticket and enter from the back. This was how bad things were and this was how it was on that fated day on the 1st of December 1955. When asked to vacate her seat, three black men did and Rosa refused. She was arrested and was bailed out by evening.
This was the final point of a life lived without any respect. Of being treated like pariahs. Rosa was tired of it. She knew she had rights and she decided that this nonsense had to end here and now and took matters into her own hands. Rosa became a champion for civil rights movements. She fought for the rights of her people to sit anywhere they wished to in a bus and finally, on the 13th of November 1956, coloured people no longer had to sit in the back of the bus.
Rosa Parks was a brave woman who won many awards for her fight for her people. Sadly, she died at the age of 92 in 2005. She is truly the “mother of the freedom movement”.