From the Back of the Bus to the Front of History

A book about Rosa Parks

BY: Morgan Cannon

“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in ” - Rosa Parks. This brave , nice ,and hardworking lady changed the world by one simple word ... NO . That was all it took to change to world and how we live today. Rosa Parks should win the Elie Wiesel Foundation Humanitarian Award because she is brave and took the risk to stop the injustice against African Americans. She dedicated her time to fight the indifference between blacks and whites. She would skip her lunch to help the people in need. You might have heard the plot of Rosa’s story , but I’m not telling you the story, I’m telling you the truth.

It all started when Rosa Parks was born on February 4th, 1913 in Tuskegee ,Alabama. Although she was not born a slave, her grandparents were born slaves ,but her grandparents didn't want her family to suffer like they did. Rosa Parks was raised by her very happy mother and grandparents in Pine Level ,Alabama. She lived in Tuskegee which is such a small town where almost everyone knew each other. Rosa’s mother and grandparents taught her many things. One of the things they taught her was to always respect herself and do what is right. Her mom was a teacher and her dad was a carpenter. Rosa rarely got to see her father because she was only two and a half when her father left the family . Her grandfather was one of the most important people in her life especially when she was young. She grew up picking cotton for 50 cents a week and watching blacks getting killed by the Klu Klux Klan. She was haunted by the Klu Klux Klan marching up and down her street threatening to hang or shoot any black person and bombed houses murdering her family and friends . Rosa did not have access to an equal education. In Rosa’s Elementary school they had 60 people in one classroom and most schools didn’t have enough supplies, desk or even teachers.

In 1932, when Rosa Parks was only 19 she married Raymond. Raymond was a barber. His shop was an only blacks barber shop. Raymond was one of the best barbers in in the county. He also helped blacks raise money for being unfairly treated. Later he worked to help blacks vote. Rosa was a seamstress and all her work friends said she worked magic.

Every day she rode the bus to work and back. Her friend that worked at the seamstress store let Rosa go home early on December 1, 1955. She was planning a special dinner for Raymond when she got home. Rosa was happy before getting on the bus. As she loaded the bus that changed her life on that cold December afternoon she made a life changing decision. She saw an open seat next to a black man toward the window on the left aisle in the neutral section and sat by him. Then they were asked to move by the bus driver ,Blake. “ Let me have those seats.” said the bus driver. The black man she sat next to moved ,but she did not “No” she said.” You better make it easy on yourself by getting up and movin.” said the bus driver. She could have backed down ,but she did believe in fair treatment for all people even if it took her life.Soon the police came and arrested her and sent her off to jail. The blacks got mad - so mad that they started the bus boycott.

The bus boycott was the way of the blacks telling the whites and the bus community that they wanted Parks out of jail. Martin Luther King Jr. , the great man and the famous speaker, led the bus boycott. The Bus Boycott was one of the ways to help the blacks to equal rights .

Rosa Parks did so much for us and this country and we will always remember her for her bravery and kindness but, she did more than just help blacks she stood up for them, helped them and changed them. Mrs. Parks is a symbol for Civil Rights. That is why Rosa Parks should the win the Elie Wiesel Foundation Humanitarian Award because she is brave and took the risk to stop the injustice against African Americans. I will never forget Parks and her wonderful story. The story that speaks truth for the Civil Rights of African Americans.

Works Cited

Collard, Sneed B. Rosa Parks: The Courage to Make a Difference. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2007. Print. Citation 2

Edwards, Pamela Duncan., and Danny Shanahan. The Bus Ride That Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. Print. Citation 4

Giovanni, Nikki, and Bryan Collier. Rosa. New York: Henry Holt, 2005. Print. Citation 3

Steele, Philip. Rosa Parks and Her Protest for Civil Rights. North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media, 2003. Print. Citation 1

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