Who was Rosa Parks?

Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Alabama, U.S. Her full name was Rosa Louise McCauley. 

Rosa Parks is known as the woman who wouldn’t stand up. Her story begins on a bus.

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On December 1, 1955, after a hard day’s work, Rosa was riding the bus home. In those days buses were segregated, meaning black people and white people had separate seats. Black people had to sit at the back of the bus on seats that were signed 'For coloured only'. White people sat at the front of the bus on seats that were reserved for them. 

If all the seats for black people were full but there were empty seats in the 'whites-only area', black people had to stand up. 

The bus filled up and a white passenger got on. The driver told Rosa and other African Americans to give up their seats for him. The other black passengers obeyed but Rosa refused. The police were called and Rosa was arrested. She was told she had to pay a fine of $10 for not following the law. She refused to pay the fine.

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On December 5, 1955, Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott where thousands of African Americans refused to ride the city buses. The boycott continued for over a year! It wasn’t easy for African Americans because many of them didn’t have cars and had to walk to work or share a lift. 

After the boycott, the courts decided that public buses will no longer have separate seats.

Rosa Parks became an inspiration of freedom for people all around the world. She died at age 92.