seek refuge in God from Satan, the
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In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Parks, Rosa (1913 - ):
On 1 December 1955, while riding the
bus home from her job as a seamstress, Rosa Parks refused to give up
her seat to a white passenger. "People always say that I didn't give up
my seat because I was tired," Parks later wrote, "but that is not true.
I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the
end of the day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me
being old then. I was forty-two. No, the
only tired I was, was tired of giving in."
Parks' arrest elicited a strong reaction from leaders in Montgomery, who had been waiting for the right incident to launch a protest. "She was morally clean and she had fairly good academic training," E. D. Nixon explained. "Now she wasn't afraid and she didn't get excited about anything. If there ever was a person that would have been able to break the situation that existed on the Montgomery City Line, Rosa L. Parks was the women to use."
Parks' protest inspired 42,000 black citizens to boycott the Montgomery city buses for nearly a year. Her participation in the movement continued through the boycott, as she served as a dispatcher, coordinating rides for boycott participants. She was also indicted, along with King and eighty-seven others, for their participation in the boycotts. Her second arrest brought additional attention to the boycott, attracting national press coverage.
The Montgomery bus boycott
culminated with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that segregation on
city buses is unconstitutional. The success of Montgomery put
King into the national spotlight and created a model for challenging
segregation in the South with nonviolent protest. Following the boycott
victory, Parks continued to face harassment from segregationists and
moved to Detroit in 1957. She has continued to be active in civil
rights struggles throughout her life.