Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott.
The Civil Rights Movement or 1960s Civil Rights Movement encompasses social movements in the United States whose goals were to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans and to secure legal recognition and federal protection of the citizenship rights enumerated in the Constitution and federal law.
The Montgomery bus boycott was a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama.
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals.
Rosa Parks interview (1995) by Manufacturing Intellect
The United States Congress has called her "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States consisting of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Rosa Parks Story by Darius Stevenson
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake's order to relinquish her seat in the "colored section" to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled.
James Fred Blake was the bus driver whom Rosa Parks defied in 1955, prompting the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Montgomery is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County.
Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People believed that she was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws.
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power.
Parks' prominence in the community and her willingness to become a controversial figure inspired the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year, the first major direct action campaign of the post-war civil rights movement.
Her case became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit Browder v. Gayle succeeded in November 1956.
Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the movement.
She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.
She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in Montgomery who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement and went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial organization to advance justice for African Americans by W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington and Moorfield Storey.
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes created by the Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature.
Edgar Daniel Nixon, known as E. D. Nixon, was an African-American civil rights leader and union organizer in Alabama who played a crucial role in organizing the landmark Montgomery Bus Boycott there in 1955.
At the time, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP.
She had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for training activists for workers' rights and racial equality.
The Highlander Research and Education Center, formerly known as the Highlander Folk School, is a social justice leadership training school and cultural center in New Market, Tennessee.
She acted as a private citizen "tired of giving in".
Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards.
Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she briefly found similar work.
Detroit is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the fourth-largest city in the Midwest and the largest city on the United States–Canada border.
From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to John Conyers, an African-American US Representative.
John James Conyers Jr. is an American politician of the Democratic Party who served as a U.S. Representative for Michigan from 1965 to 2017.
She was also active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US.
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies aimed at achieving self-determination for people of African descent.
A political prisoner is someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment.
After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and continued to insist that the struggle for justice was not over and there was more work to be done.
In her final years, she suffered from dementia.
Dementia, also known as senility, is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person's daily functioning.
Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal—the highest civilian award of the United States.
The Spingarn Medal is awarded annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for outstanding achievement by an African American.
National Statuary Hall is a chamber in the United States Capitol devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans.
Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, becoming the third of only four Americans to ever receive this honor.
The United States Capitol rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., built 1818–1824.