We Must Remain Strong

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate June 2001

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BACKGROUND Rosa Louise Parkes was born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1912. She was the grand daughter of former slaves and the daughter of James Mc Cauley, a carpenter and Leona Mc Cauley a rural schoolteacher.

Parkes had a strong religious background, her belief in God and her religious convictions are the core of everything that she has done, and still does today.

Society at the time did not treat people equally, white ruled blacks & men ruled women. Society oppressed her because of her colour and because of her gender. Black people where still being sold, so it was hard for a black women to be seen as anything else than being sub-servant.

FIRST PASSION Rosa Parkes attended the all-black Alabama state college. In 1932 she married Raymond Parkes, a Barber. With Raymond Parkes her first passion was being involved with the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured people. Rosa Parkes worked as the NAACP chapter¡¯s youth adviser.

When Rosa Parkes actually joined the NAACP in 1943, her involvement with the organization became even greater. She worked with organization¡¯s state president, Edgar Daniel Nixon, to mobilize a voter registration drive in Montgomery. So that black people, including women could vote in elections. That same year, Parkes was elected secretary of the Montgomery branch.

PERSONAL SUPPORT FROM WHITE LIBERALS In the early 1950¡¯s Rosa Parkes found work as a tailor¡¯s assistant at a department store, called Montgomery fair. She also had a part-time job as a seamstress for Virginia and Clifford Durr, a white liberal couple; they encouraged Rosa Parkes in her civil right¡¯s work. Six months before her famous protest, (the Montgomery segregation of buses protest) Parkes received a scholarship to attend a workshop on social interrogation for community leader, which she attended for several weeks.