Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who is known for her refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
This act sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which helped launch nationwide efforts to end segregation of public facilities.
Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Parks married at the age of 19 to Raymond Parks, who was a barber and active member of the NAACP.
Parks became involved with the Civil Rights Movement when she joined the NAACP Montgomery chapter, serving as secretary to NAACP President, E.D. Nixon.
On December 1, 1955, Parks was arrested for refusing to listen to the bus driver who told her to give up her seat to a white passenger.
Parks worked at a Montgomery department store and was extremely tires, so she took a seat in the first row of the designated rows for 'colored' passengers.
As the bus began to fill up, the bus driver noticed many white passengers were standing in the aisle. The bus driver then moved the sign that separated the sections for whites and blacks back one row, asking four passengers to give up their seat.
The other three passengers complied, but Parks did not give in.
Police then arrested Parks on the bus and she was later released on bail.
In response to Parks, many African Americans began to boycott buses in protest of her arrest.
Many people came before Parks, however the NAACP believed that Parks should be the one to help lead this boycott.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted for 381 days and ended with the Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation on buses to be unconstitutional.
Some people who were against integration retaliated against the bus boycott with bombings.
The public transit suffered financial loss, giving the city of Montgomery no choice but to lift its enforcement of segregation on public buses.
The boycott officially ended on December 20,1956.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott became one of the largest and most successful mass movements against racial segregation in history.
While she become a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, Parks suffered hardships with loosing her job.
On October 24,2005 Parks died in her Detroit apartment at the age of 92. She had been diagnosed with progressive dementia.
During her lifetime Parks received many awards including the Martin Luther King Jr. Award.