Rosa Parks is credited as being one of the individuals who played a key role in starting the Civil Rights movement in the United States. On December 1, 1955 she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama when asked to do so by the driver. She was threatened by him and then reported to police who arrested her.
This book is the story on only of the important incident that sparked significant change in race relations but also of how the woman who is the main character arrived at that situation. Ms. Parks, who co-authored her biography with Jim Haskins, has included photos depicting important individuals and events in her life up to, including and after the bus incident.
Rosa was raised by a single mother and her grandparents. She was interested in learning and even went back to school after her marriage in order to complete a high school education. In her young years, she learned a number of practical skills included sewing and actually was able to earn an income doing alternations for others.
Rosa married a very persistent barber who was involved in activities to help others with discrimination issues but he did not share all the details with her and definitely didn't want her to be involved. She decided to join a national organization that was focused on democracy and fighting discriminatory practices. Because she was the only female at the meeting where they required a secretary, she was given this responsibility. Her work with the NAACP went for many, many years. She typed letters for the organization's President and kept track of cases where injustices occurred.
Ms. Parks debunks several myths about her arrest. She states that she did not refuse to move because she was tired from her work as some reports suggest. She was not being rebellious and did not fight police. She was not verbally disrespectful In fact, she refused to give up her seat because she knew that it was the right thing to do. She did not think that black people should be required to give up their seats just because a white person entered the bus and this motivated her to act as she did.
After this incident, plans were made to initiate a bus boycott. No one expected that this would last for over a year but it did. The result was that segregation on buses was ruled as unconstitutional.
Rosa Parks spent the rest of her life participating in marshes for equality, giving speeches and continuing to work for the causes she believed in.
This 188 page pocketbook tells the story of a woman who used her strong convictions to play a powerful role in the Civil Rights movement. It is written in a simple manner that is easy to read and understand.
I highly recommend this story which reminds us of the interplay between individual lives and significant world events. Her words chronicle a history that has affected the lives of all of us.