In commemoration of Black History Month, one of the most unforgettable women is Rosa Parks.
This black seamstress who was 43 years old just wanted to go home to the comfort of their home, but in that era, specifically on December 1, 1955, black people were supposed to sit at the back of the bus as per city ordinance.
Together with her in that area were some other black men. Two stops later, white passengers were going in, and the front seats were filled up. The black people would need to leave their seats according to the driver. The men instantly stood up, but Mrs. Parks refused to move and give up her seat.
The driver then called on to the police. She stayed in jail shortly after a bond of $100 was posted.
Rosa Parks said emotionally, “I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress and tired from the ache in my heart.”
Rosa Parks Day is celebrated either on February 4 or December 1, the day she didn’t give up her seat to the white passenger.
Due to that incident, there was a citywide boycott of buses, which lead to the end of the segregation on the public buses. She was found guilty and was fined $10 and other costs of the court.
Several days after, the black community elected and formed the Montgomery Improvement Association, and the president was a Baptist preacher, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
These black people stopped using the busses and churches organized carpools. This boycott costs $3200 per day, according to newspapers. This went on for one year when the buses desecrated, December 20, 1956.
Mrs. Parks and her husband lost their jobs after the bus boycott. They transferred to Virginia two years after. However, they had to return to Detroit because the promised work for her didn’t push through.
Her husband needed more training to get a job, whereas Mrs. Parks couldn’t find one either. They needed to save for surgery for an ulcer and a throat tumor.
By 1960, their debts were filling up. Fortunately, the year after, they both found jobs.
Mrs. Parks continued to involve herself with civil rights movements and volunteered for the campaign of John Convers. When he won, she worked in his office from 1965 until 1988. She retired by then. At the age of 92, she died in Michigan.
In honor of her funeral, the front seats of the Montgomery and Detroit buses were draped in black ribbons at her funeral. Her body was transported t Washington DC, in honor of the building in the US Capitol.
When she was returned to Detroit, she was laid in the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. It was said that her funeral took 7 hours.
One of the most unforgettable remarks she said was, “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”