Rosa Parks 1st Person

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Rosa Parks Hi, my name is Rosa Parks. I am coloured and famous for not giving up my seat on a bus to a white man in 1955.

I was born Feb. 4, 1913, in Pine Level, Al. There is segregation here. A racist group called the Ku Klux Klan is dedicated to keeping coloured people in line. My grandfather stays up late at night in case they come to our house. He has an old gun that he sits in his rocking chair with. He likes to keep my family safe.

In 1926 I went to a church school taught by my mother. My parents saved enough money so after graduating; I could go to a private high school for blacks. It was a very nice school but we were treated badly because we were black. It took me along time to finish because I got married to Raymond Parks and my mother died.

After I graduated I joined the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) youth group and was asked to become the secretary in Montgomery, Al. I encouraged blacks to register and to vote. I wrote letters and found speakers for their meetings.

On Dec. 1 1955 I was arrested for breaking segregation laws for not giving up my seat on a bus to a white man. My feet hurt and I was tired from my job sewing clothes all day. I went to jail. After about two hours E.D. Nixon the president of the NAACP came and paid the bail for me. I was encouraged to not pay the fine when I had to go to court. I was found guilty and paid my fine. I also brought a lawyer with me named Fred Gray. We told the judge we were going to appeal.

At the same time a boycott was formed against the bus company. Churches and newspapers spoke about the boycott and very soon no black people would ride the bus. The people asked the bus company to give them the same rights as whites on the bus. The bus company said no. Soon some of the whites began to join the boycott.

After 13 months the appeal reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled that the segregation laws in Montgomery, Al. were against the law.

The segregation laws were changed.

In 1957 I moved to Detroit, Mi. because I lost my job. There, I worked for a congressman so I could continue to help other blacks. Soon I was elected to the national board of the NAACP.

In 1962 I was honored at a civil rights march for my actions in 1955. More than 250,000 people came together to demand civil rights for all.

I am now 88 years old and since then I have been working for the rights of blacks. I have spoken many times and even spoken at national conventions.

I am so glad that so many people have gotten so much from me being tired one afternoon.