Rosa Parks is one of the most prominent figures in African-American history. She has a great contribution to the American Civil Rights Movement. She represented how a single woman’s struggle and courage could change a civilization’s course.

Rosa Parks
Image Source: History

She is popularly known as  “The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement”. In 1955, she started the Montgomery bus boycott by refusing to get off the “whites only” section of a public bus. The US Congress gave her the name, “First Lady of Civil Rights”. She got the title in recognition of her influence on the civil rights movement and African-American history.

15 Interesting Facts about Rosa Parks you must know :

1. Rosa Parks was an activist

Although Parks’ profession was sewing, she was a very involved member of the NAACP and worked to advance civil rights in her neighborhood. Her decision to refuse to give up her seat in the bus’s black section to a white man on December 1 was premeditated, but it was not planned for that particular moment. Parks said, “I got on the bus to go home.”

2. Her grandparents raised her

Because her father had left when she was still a toddler to pursue work, and because her mother had to teach in a different town, Rosa Parks grew with her grandparents’ modest Alabama home alongside her brother Sylvester.

3. Rosa Parks wasn’t the first Black woman who refused to give up her seat

However, It wasn’t Rosa who raised voice against the bus’s seating system for the first time. A 15-year-old girl also refused to give up her bus seat for a white woman. Her name was Claudette Colvin. It was earlier in 1955 after which She was taken into custody.

Although Rosa Parks was one of the activists collecting money for Claudette. Other leaders in the civil rights movement determined the “feisty” teenager wasn’t the best candidate to bring a more significant lawsuit against segregation. The summer following her arrest, Claudette claimed that Rosa was the only adult who continued to follow her. Claudette made an impact even though her story is not as popular as Rosa’s.

4. Rosa Parks was the first woman lain at the U.S. Capitol

After passing away in 2005, Parks was buried beneath the Capitol Rotunda. The most eminent citizens of the nation—typically those who have held public office—are eligible to receive this honour. Parks is still the only female recipient of the award, one of only four private citizens overall.

5. She got a title, the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” 

 In the 20th century, The Civil Rights Movement was very prime time. People faced discrimination, and racial violence after the Civil War For over a century. During this movement, legalized segregation, Black Americans and their allies fought for equality. But from 1954-1968, a massive wave of activism and progress ushered in a better era. Rosa’s refusal to give up her bus seat became the turning point for America. It led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, against segregation. And that incident led to a court case that ended bus segregation in Alabama.

6. She Had A High School Diploma

Her future husband later supported her decision to return to school in 1933 to earn her high school diploma. Even though she initially dropped out of school to work in a shirt factory to support herself and her ageing grandmother. She would then be among the less than 7% of African Americans who at that time got diplomas.

7. Rosa Parks had a prior encounter with James Blake

Parks had been kicked off Blake’s bus in 1943 for refusing to pay her fare at the front and get back in through the back door. She stated in her autobiography that ‘she never wanted to ride on that man’s bus again”. “After that, I made it a point to check the bus driver’s identity before boarding. I wanted no more confrontations with that nasty person”. Blake happened to be driving one of the newly integrated buses that Parks boarded to pose for press photos after the Montgomery Bus Boycott came to an end on December 21, 1956, following the arrival of the written order from the Supreme Court prohibiting bus segregation.

8. She served as the NAACP secretary

Rosa Parks had been an activist for decades. In 1943, she started working as NAACP secretary in Montgomery. It was in honour of her noteworthy contributions to the civil rights movement. Her unwavering dedication to equality and justice throughout her life was also the reason for receiving the award. The Montgomery NAACP sent Rosa to look into the men after the local police declined to press charges. She coordinated a letter-writing campaign to the governor of Alabama and worked to establish the Committee for Equal Justice. Despite the eventual creation of a special grand jury, the attackers were never charged. Rosa was appointed the first state secretary of the NAACP in 1948.

9. She knew about Racism from a very young age

Born in Pine Level, Alabama, Rosa McCauley later became known as Rosa Parks. Her mother, brother, and grandparents raised her. Following World War I, Rosa’s grandfather kept an eye out for the Ku Klux Klan while carrying a shotgun. Rosa learned to sew, cook, and clean, and she also used to “keep vigil” on the porch with her grandfather. Rosa learned from her grandfather to never put up with mistreatment. A white boy had threatened her when she was a little girl. Rosa scared the boy away by picking up a brick in retaliation.

10 She Never had children

She and her spouse had a happy marriage, but they never had children. which, given the times they lived in, was an unusual choice. However, they favored concentrating on their professions, activism, and, of course, their marriage!

11. She was forced to move from Montgomery soon after the boycott

Parks lost her job at the department store a few weeks after her arrest, but the personnel officer assured her that it had nothing to do with the boycott. After knowing that talking about his wife or the boycott could not take place at work, her husband resigned. Parks received death threats and threatening phone calls both during and after the boycott. She and her husband relocated to Detroit in 1957, and she worked as Congressman John Conyers, Jr.’s administrative assistant there for the rest of her life.

12. Rosa Parks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Rosa Parks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1966. It is the highest civilian honour of the nation. She received the honour and praises for her great contributions to the civil rights movement. President Bill Clinton gave her this medal. It was an appreciation and gratitude symbol for her tenacity, bravery, and unbreakable commitment to the advancement of social justice and civil rights.

13. Rosa Parks’ husband was an activist, too

Raymond Parks asked Rosa for marriage after their second date. They married in 1932. Raymond was raising money to defend the Scottsboro Boys, nine Black teenagers. They were falsely accused of rape. She was while also working with the Montgomery labor rights movement at the time. Because the work was so risky, supporters had to get together in secret. Raymond claimed that he would tie his shoes a certain way and stand in front of a particular street light to announce the day and time of a meeting. “The first real activist I ever met,” as Rosa put it, was her husband.

14. Rosa Parks was the first Female Legislator to lie in honor at The Capitol

Unfortunately, Rosa Parks died on 24 October 2005. But did indeed make history. When she became the first female recipient of an honorary funeral that drew more than 30,000 people to the US Capitol.

15. Parks’ involvement in the boycott led her to jail a second time

Parks was a part of the organization that led the Montgomery Bus Boycott’s executive board of directors. She also briefly worked as a dispatcher, setting up rides for boycotters in carpools. A grand jury returned indictments against Parks and numerous others on February 21, 1956, for breaking a state statute forbidding organized boycotts. The New York Times published a front-page picture of Parks where police was taking her fingerprints. She had to face arrest along with 114 other people.

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