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Rosa Parks Biography

Rosa Parks Biography

(1913–2005)UPDATED:APR 24, 2020ORIGINAL:FEB 27, 2018

May 3, 2020 cowboyrons@gmail.com MY FAVORITE HERO 0by 

Rosa Parks Biography

(1913–2005)UPDATED:APR 24, 2020ORIGINAL:FEB 27, 2018

Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Its success launched nationwide efforts to end racial segregation of public facilities.

Who Was Rosa Parks?

Rosa Parks was a civil rights leader whose refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her bravery led to nationwide efforts to end racial segregation. Parks was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Award by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Early Life and Family

Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her parents, James and Leona McCauley, separated when Parks was two. Parks’ mother moved the family to Pine Level, Alabama, to live with her parents, Rose and Sylvester Edwards. Both of Parks’ grandparents were former slaves and strong advocates for racial equality; the family lived on the Edwards’ farm, where Parks would spend her youth. 

Parks’ childhood brought her early experiences with racial discrimination and activism for racial equality. In one experience, Parks’ grandfather stood in front of their house with a shotgun while Ku Klux Klan members marched down the street. 

Education

Throughout Parks’ education, she attended segregated schools. Taught to read by her mother at a young age, Parks attended a segregated, one-room school in Pine Level, Alabama, that often lacked adequate school supplies such as desks. African American students were forced to walk to the first through sixth-grade schoolhouse, while the city of Pine Level provided bus transportation as well as a new school building for white students. 

Beginning at age 11, Parks attended the city’s Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery. In 1929, while in the 11th grade and attending a laboratory school for secondary education led by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes, Parks left school to attend to both her sick grandmother and mother back in Pine Level. 

Parks didn’t return to her studies. Instead, she got a job at a shirt factory in Montgomery. After marrying in 1932, she earned her high school degree in 1933 with her husband’s support.

Marriage

In 1932, at age 19, Parks met and married Raymond Parks, a barber and an active member of the NAACP. 

After graduating high school with Raymond’s support, Parks became actively involved in civil rights issues by joining the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP in 1943, serving as the chapter’s youth leader as well as secretary to NAACP President E.D. Nixon — a post she held until 1957. The couple never had children.

Rosa Parks’ Life in Photos

Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks in Alabama

13GALLERY13 IMAGES

Arrest

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