Rosa Parks (Rosa Louise McCauley Parks)
I would like to welcome you all for coming to my Civil Rights Conference. It's a great pleasure to be here and it's certainly a great honour to share my past experience with you. I've been living in Detroit for a long time now, retiring with not much left to do except remembering the days when I fought along side many African American to achieve Civil Rights. You may remember me as 'The Mother of Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement' but really I am just Rosa Parks fighting for what I believe in. My history is a long one but it was also a proud one, helping African Americans through their hard day of segregation.
Let me begin by telling you a little about myself. I was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. My mother was a teacher and my father was a carpenter. My childhood was a bleak one and by the time I was six, I was old enough to realize that African Americans were not actually free; I had a strong sense of what was fair.
My childhood was plagued by the fear of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan), a group of white extremist who hanged blacks and burned farms. "Back then we didn't have any civil rights. It was a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Klan ride at night, hearing a lynching and being afraid the house would burn down". [Quote from Rosa Park] It was impossible to ignore racism and it made me realise there was a black world and a white world.
When my parents separated, I left to Pine Level, Alabama to live with my mother, my younger brother and my grandparents. I...