Rosa Parks: Standing Up for What's Right
Description Paragraph: Early Life
Rosa Louise McCauley was born in Tuskegee, Alabama to James and Leona McCauley on February 4th, 1913. From an early age, Rosa was exposed to racial discrimination against blacks. Shortly after her brother, Sylvester, was born in 1915, her parents filed for divorce. Her mother took her to live with her grandparents in Pine Level, Alabama. For her education, her mother taught her how to read, and she attended numerous segregated schools in Pine Level and Montgomery.
In 1932, when Rosa was 19, she married Raymond Parks, who was a barber and a member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The next year, in 1933, Rosa earned her high school degree.
Cause/Effect Paragraph: The Montgomery Bus Boycott
On December 1st, 1955, after a long day of work, Rosa Parks boarded a bus home. Since she was a black, she was immediately moved to the back of the bus, but the Montgomery law stated that if a bus was too full, blacks had to stand up so white people could sit down. Rosa's bus quickly filled up with white people, and the bus driver, James Blake, demanded several black citizens to give up their seats for the whites. All of them complied, except Rosa. The bus driver asked her again, yet she still refused to stand up. Blake called the police and had her arrested. Rosa may not have known it then, but she had sparked a city-wide bus boycott.
When the black people of Montgomery had heard about Parks's arrest, they were outraged. Protesters and E.D. Nixon (Montgomery's NAACP president) formed the Montgomery Improvement Association, electing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as Minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (their local church). They spread the word to use cars and cabs instead of buses on December 5th, 1955- the day of Rosa's trial. When her trial came, Rosa was found guilty of violating the Montgomery law and was fined 10 dollars with a 4 dollar court fee (which is around 150 dollars in our day). Although Rosa had lost the case, the Montgomery protesters weren't over yet. They continued to refuse to ride on the public buses, insisting on carpools, cabs for black people- even some people walking as far as 20 miles just to get to work.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was working spectacularly. Montgomery's bus transit system was losing money fast, because the city was mostly composed of black citizens. However, some white people that supported segregation weren't exactly fond of the protesters' ways, and they bombed both E.D. Nixon's and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s homes. Protesting African Americans were arrested for violating a Montgomery law prohibiting boycotts.
Eventually, a much-needed black legal team took the issue of public transit segregation to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Northern (Montgomery) Division. In June 1956, the district court stated the Jim Crow laws as unconstitutional. With the Montgomery bus transit economy lower than ever, Montgomery had no choice but to lift the laws of bus segregation, making the 381-day boycott one of the most successful ones in history.
Timeline Paragraph: After the Boycott
Although because of the bus boycott, Rosa remained an important figure of the Civil Rights Movement, she also suffered many losses in the months following the boycott. Both she and her husband were fired from their jobs, and they had no choice but to pack their bag and move to Detroit, Michigan, along with Rosa's mother. There, Rosa found a job working as a receptionist and secretary in U.S. Representative John Conyer's congressional office. She was also a deaconess in the African Methodist Espiscopal Church.
In the year of 1982, Parks published Rosa Parks: My Story, an autobiography about herself. Then, in 1995, she published Quiet Strength, an account about how her religious faith played a major role in her life.
She received several prestigious awards, such as the 1996 Presidential Medal of Freedom and the 1999 Congressional Medal of Honor, for her contributions to the Civil Rights movement. On October 24th, 2005, she died peacefully in Detroit.
Publisher Information and Purpose of the Website
My name is Jordan Jacobs, and I'm a 6th grader attending Holman Middle School, which is located in Henrico County, in the state of Virginia.
The purpose of this website is to serve as my final product for an English project that I've been assigned. For the past month or so, my class has learned about reliable and unreliable sources, plagiarism (an how to avoid it!), and several other valuable writing and research skills. I hope to become a journalist one day, so I've particularly enjoyed this unit in English. Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement have always been a fascination of mine, but this is the first time that I've actually been able to do a project on Rosa. I hope that you've enjoyed this website, and everything that it offers! Please fill out the form below for helpful feedback on how I can make this website even better. Thank you so much for your time!
Sources and Citations
These are the websites that I used for my research on my project:
"Rosa Parks Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. <http://www.biography.com/people/rosa-parks-9433715#civil-rights-pioneer>.
"Britannica School." Britannica School. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/312903>.
"BIOGRAPHY | Rosa Parks." Rosa Parks. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. <http://www.rosaparks.org/biography/>.
"Montgomery Bus Boycott." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2015. <http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/montgomery-bus-boycott>.