For both Black History Month and her birthday, we honor Rosa Parks
Yesterday, on February 4th, the world celebrated the birthday of the late Rosa Parks. Referred to by many as the first lady of civil rights, Parks was an instrumental figure in the fight for justice and equality.
On December 1st, 1955, Parks set off a ripple in history.
In Montgomery, Alabama, where Parks lived, half of all bus seats were reserved for white people (though 80% of bus riders were African American). It was mandated that African Americans move to the back or stand if there were not enough seats for white people. When the bus driver, James Blake, told Parks to move to the back of the bus, she refused, and was arrested.
Thus, her stand spurred the Rosa Parks bus boycott.
The boycott, inspired by Parks’s arrest, lasted 381 days. The public bus companies lost 75% of their riders, realizing that their unjust laws were a detriment to everyone involved. Finally, after 12 and a half months of protest, segregation on public buses was outlawed.
Parks continued to fight against injustice for the entirety of her life. If you take inspiration from anything this Monday, take it from this courageous, steadfast woman.