“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
– Rosa Parks
Today we celebrate the birthday of Civil Rights pioneer, Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks, who worked as a field hand, took care of her younger brother, and cleaned classrooms for tuition in her childhood, worked as a seamstress, office clerk, and domestic as an adult. Rosa Parks became involved in civil rights activity as well, serving as secretary of the Montgomery, Alabama, NAACP chapter.
On December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks was riding a bus home from her job, the bus filled up, and she was expected to relinquish her seat for a white man. She refused, was arrested for violating Alabama’s segregation laws. The black community mobilized a boycott of the bus system which lasted for 381 days and resulted in the ending of segregation on Montgomery’s buses.
The boycott also brought national attention to the civil rights cause and to a young minister, the Rev. Martin Luther King, jr.
Rosa Parks continued her commitment to civil rights until her death, willingly serving as a symbol of the civil rights struggle. Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005, at her Detroit home of natural causes. She was 92.
This excerpt was taken from About.com in the Women in History section.