Rosa Parks Biography

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‘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.’ An activist for black rights and a winner of many awards such as The Presidential Award, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks rose to fame when she hopped on a bus, only for the white race and refused to give up her seat in 1955.

Born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama, Parks was born to parents Leona Edwards and James McCauley. She had a younger brother named Sylvester James McCauley, shortly after having Sylvester, the parents separated. James McCauley, a carpenter and Leona Edwards, a teacher enrolled Parks to Montgomery Industrial School for Girls. For high school, she went to Alabama State Teachers’ College for Negroes. When she was 16, she quit school to look after her dying grandmother and not long after, her critically ill mother. She met her husband, barber, Raymond Parks through a mutual friend. On December 18, 1932, when Parks was 19, she married Raymond at Rosa Parks’ mothers house in Montgomery.

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On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks got a bus that was only for the white race. Later Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat for a white man. She spent only a few hours in jail, only to be bailed out. The arrest spread quickly, and it was not until December 20, 1956 that the bus boycott ended and by that time, Parks had lost her job as seamstress. In 1977, Raymond died at age 74 and it left Parks on her own. In 1979, she earned her first award, the Springam Medal, awarded to an African- American by the NAACP (National Association of the Advancement of Coloured People.) Later, in 1992, she published a book tilted, ‘Rosa Parks,’ and not long after she published three other books tilted ‘Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman who Changed a Nation,’ ‘I am Rosa Parks’ and ‘Dear Mrs.Parks.’ In 1995, Parks won a Golden Plate Award. In 1996, she won the Presidential Award of Freedom, presented to Bill Clinton. A few years after, in 1999, Parks won the Congressional gold medal, and the following year, in 2000, she won the’ NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’

Rosa Parks died of natural causes in Detroit, Michigan on October 24 2005 at aged 92. Rosa Parks showed great courage throughout her life time becoming an civil rights activist for all African-Americans and Black People and winning many awards to show how much courage she had. Parks has continued to be remembered and recognised as a roll model and a symbol of freedom and equality.


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