Rosa Parks - The Woman Who Changed a Nation

July 26, 2010
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Who would think that a woman from a small town in Alabama would change the way African Americans are perceived? Rosa Louise McCauley Parks never thought that by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, she would start a nation-wide movement for promoting the rights of black people. When she was arrested on December 1, 1955, African Americans decided it was time to do something about the racial segregation that was so well integrated into the everyday society. Thus, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began—thousands of people refused to take the bus and walked to show their support for what Rosa Parks did. But what really made Parks decide to stand up to the law? In many books and interviews, she discussed numerous reasons why she did what she did, but she always stressed out a few that were the most important to her.
Parks talked a lot about her mother and grandmother in many interviews; she explained why they inspired her all throughout her life. Her grandmother faced more difficulties than Parks ever did—slaves were just freed then, and were still considered servants by many. Parks told reporters how her grandmother had to work on a plantation as a child and how grueling her job was. Parks’ parents were not the perfect example of a happily married couple—they split when Parks was a child. She stayed with her mother, who was a teacher, which motivated Parks to finish her schooling. These strong women taught Parks to never be afraid of anything, to always do the right thing. She stated that when she refused to give up her seat, she was not afraid; instead, she thought of the many people before her who had to suffer from similar humiliating situations, and of the ways her mother and grandmother taught her. That is what gave her strength to face the unknown.

Ever since she was a little girl, Parks was a faithful member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Her family members taught her that whenever in doubt, Parks should read the Bible, for it holds all the answers needed. So, at that fateful moment of her life, Parks thought of the almighty Lord and prayed that justice will prevail. She knew what happened to people who disobeyed the law, especially African Americans; nevertheless, she had faith that God will keep her safe and help her out of her problems.

More than anything, Parks stressed out that the main reason she refused to get up is that she was tired. She was tired of social injustice, of how she and her fellow African Americans were treated just because of the color of their skin. She hated prejudices, and rarely judged people. In one of her books, she speaks of an incident when her house was broken into and the robber forced Parks to give him all her money. Even then, as she says, she tried not to judge the person, because she did not know what he had been through, and how much he needed her money and what for. She just wanted all Americans to be treated the same, in all aspects of life. Parks knew that what she did would not change the way people saw black people all over the world, but she hoped at least someone will understand her message.

When she got on the bus on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks never knew that what was about to happen would change the American nation forever. For what she did, many consider her to be the “mother of modern-day civil rights movement.” Her courageous act is believed to have launched the civil rights movement. Starting from the law about racial segregation on buses, many other laws followed suit and were changed. Today, the United States of America is still affected by racism, but it has been enormously reduced in the past fifty years. With an African American as the President, African Americans in the USA have the same rights as everyone else. Alas, there is still a lot more that can be done: there is still racial segregation in some high schools in Georgia, USA. It causes great lament to find out that such situations exist in today’s world, that some people still think that some race is superior. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the future generations must continue what Rosa Parks left behind and let her legacy live on, forever.

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nana said...
Jan. 11, 2016 at 11:06 pm
Maya great project. Keep up the good work. Kirit. Nana
Briana1999 said...
Feb. 11, 2015 at 9:23 am
This had amazingly good info. thx. it will help me with what i need to do
Aalexus Lamonshay said...
Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm
This Was Great , ! Thats It Helped Me Alot With A Project I Had, .!!
Shelly-T said...
Jul. 29, 2010 at 10:52 am
That was wonderful.  It really said a lot about how we established our country upon the principle "all men are created equal," but we are still working on achieving that.  Gread job!
AliceDean replied...
Jul. 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm
This means a great deal to me because I am not from the United States, and understanding the position Rosa Parks was in was a challenge for me. My country is composed of aa single race only, but we have multiple ethnicities here, and having one of my best friends from a different ethnicity than me - from a minority - greatly helped me comprehend the situation in the United States. Thank you so  much for the positive feedback!
Shelly-T replied...
Jul. 30, 2010 at 8:46 am
Yeah, I noticed that.  That's why I added that fact about our country.  It's awesome that you wrote this for your essay at school.  You must have done really well!!! :)
AliceDean replied...
Jul. 30, 2010 at 10:02 am
Thanks once again! I wrote it for our school newspaper, The Discourse Detectives, actually.But, since I am the youngest member on our team, this means a lot to me.
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