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Looked up to as the “Mother of civil rights”, Rosa Parks’ actions made a great impact in the fight to end discrimination. Rosa Parks stood up, or rather, sat down, for what she believed in. No matter the result, Parks knew she needed to do what she believed was right. How do the actions of one woman cause such tremendous change?
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was frequently sick in her younger years, so as a result, she was a small child. Her parents separated, and her mother took her and her brother to Pine Level, a town adjacent to Montgomery, Alabama. Furthermore, Rosa spent the rest of her childhood on her grandparents’ farm. Unfortunately, she had to quit school to take care of her grandmother. Later when Parks returned, she was bullied because she didn’t receive her high school diploma until she was twenty.
Parks remembered witnessing night rides by the “Ku Klux Klan” every night. She was terrified and nervous, yet ready to defend herself and family. Childhood nights like these helped her to develop strong roots in her African church. In that church, she remembered learning that if anyone tries to hurt you, show love, kindness, and forgiveness. Consequently, she tried to remember that saying every night when she saw the Klan. These dreadful nights helped form her into a very brave young woman able to stand up for her rights and what she believed in. “I had terror night dreams about the Klan, but if it weren’t for those nights, then I probably wouldn’t have sat down on that bus.” (brainyquote.com)
On December 1, 1955, Parks boarded a bus after a long day at work. She was only a seamstress at the time, thus she invigorated the struggle for racial equality when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. As the bus filled up, the driver ordered her to give up her seat to the white man, however, she refused. This was the start of how her actions lead to tremendous change. The police arrested her for her courage, but that didn’t phase her. She knew if she stood up for what she believed in than her “Momma” would be proud.
To sum everything up, being black wasn’t easy. But being a black woman was even worse. In the first place, Parks’ single action inspired and touched the lives of countless citizens, fellow civil rights supporters, and even upper-class white men. On the second hand, many people say she was too tired from her long day at work, although this may be true, she was only tired of giving in to the whites. “…The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” – Rosa Parks. (ellabakercenter.org) Consequently, women were always considered “inferior” to men. Furthermore, in one of her interviews, she stated: “I want my work to end that title for women of all races.” (scholastic.com).
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