(WTVM) - A new book about civil rights legend Rosa Parks was just released and it occurred to me that many younger viewers may not know her story.
I hope they will search Rosa Parks online to learn about the woman who sparked one of the largest mass movements to end racial segregation.
Rosa became a legend 65 years ago, just a short drive away: in Montgomery, Alabama.
In December of 1955, Rosa was riding home from her job as a seamstress.
When white passengers wanted a place to sit, the bus driver told Rosa she had to give up her seat. Rosa refused to stand, instead she decided to take a stand, later saying she was tired of giving in to segregationists and their discriminatory laws.
She was arrested, lost her court case, and had to pay a $10 fine. But the result of her defiance was priceless: the eventual end to segregation of public facilities.
Rosa’s grandparents were slaves. But Rosa became an active member of the NAACP, dedicated to ending racial discrimination.
Children ought to be taught what Rosa Parks did and the chain of events that followed: a bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a Supreme Court decision that led to breaking down the “separate but equal” laws that constantly oppressed African-Americans in daily life.
When Rosa Parks died in 2005, she became the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
Other high honors included the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Honor.
We are lucky to live in an area so rich in history.
The only Rosa Parks museum in Montgomery was developed by Troy University in the year 2000, located on the exact street corner where she refused to give up her seat on the bus.
The museum and Rosa Parks’ legacy are local treasures well worth exploring, to making sure younger generations learn about the big wins of the civil rights movement.
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