Tuesday marked the 60th year anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her stance on Dec. 1, 1955, started the boycott that lasted 382 days from Dec. 5, 1955 to Dec. 29, 1956.
It is considered the event that sparked the Civil Rights Movement, and she became considered the mother of the movement.
Her actions at the time were in violation of Jim Crow laws that were harsh and gave bus drivers the authority in making decisions on where people could sit. The law even gave bus drivers the right to carry guns to enforce their code.
It is often cited that Parks said she was tired and that’s why she refused to give up her seat. But she said she was no more physically tired than she would be after a day of work. “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in,” Parks later said.
Rosa Parks became a member of NAACP of the Montgomery chapter in 1943, and was branch secretary at the time of her arrest. Some of the things she fought for included pushing for blacks to become registered voters, seeking justice for black victims, and pressing for desegregation of schools and public spaces.
Dr. Grace Tatem, secretary of the local NAACP chapter, lauded Parks’ actions, saying, “As a young adult is was sure death to not give up your seat to a white passenger, but Rosa Parks stood her ground.”
There were a lot of things to admire Parks for, Dr. Tatem said. “Rosa Parks was a woman with a lot of faith. Going through segregation and witnessing such activity at a young age made African Americans stronger and also brought the race closer.“
On the Dec. 1, 1955, her act of disobedience had become one of the most important symbols of the civil rights movement in America. And in the years since, she has not been forgotten.
Rosa Parks was just an ordinary person, not someone famous. But she’s also proof there’s no such thing as an ordinary person.
Rosa Parks left her mark on the world.
She died in 2005 at the age of 92.