Rosa Parks

Posted by Hannah Ramos on

1913- 2005

 

Rosa grew up in Alabama, USA. During this time segregation was a written law in many aspects, public transport was one of them. African Americans were to enter and exit the bus via the rear doors and sit at the back. In 1955, Rosa, 42, refused to give her seat on the bus to a white man which resulted in her arrest. She was ordered to pay a $10 fine and pay $4 in court fees. This inspired the local African American community to band together, and led by the young Martin Luther King Jr., they boycotted the bus system, this was later known as the Montgomery bus boycott. An estimated 75% of the bus companies’ customers were African American, and the boycott saw over 40,000 Montgomery residents seek other methods of transportation. Carpooling was organized and local taxi drivers charged only 10c, which was the cost of a bus fare. The leaders initially sought courtesy and a first come, first serve seating arrangement, though a group of women sued the city district court, seeking an end of segregation laws on public transport.  Though Rosa was fired from her employment, the boycott ended after 381 days when a supreme court ruling declared segregation on public transport to be unconstitutional. Less known information is that this ruling was met with hostility from the KKK, who fired snipers into buses, on one occasion shattering the legs of a pregnant African American woman. They even went as far as bombing prominent black churches and the leaders’ homes. A bomb was defused at Martin Luther King Jr’s home. This resulted in the arrest of 7 members of the Ku Klux Klan and the violence against the bus system then settled.


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