Black History Month: Who is Rosa Park

February 5, 2018, 2:54 pm


What is Black History Month?

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history.


Purpose of Black History Month.

Black History Month began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment was put in place to end slavery in the United States.


One of the inspiring women i chose to celebrate today is Rosa Louise McCauley Parks.


Who is Rosa Parks?

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, known as  “The Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement”, was an African-American woman born on February 4,1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her parents were James and Leona McCauley. They separated when she was two.Rosa’s mother moved the family to Pine Level, Alabama to live with her parents, Rose and Sylvester Edwards. Both were former slaves and strong advocates for racial equality; the family lived on the Edwards' farm. Parks childhood brought her early experiences with racial discrimination and activism for racial equality.Rosa attended a segregated, one-room school in Pine Level, Alabama, that often lacked essential school supplies such as desks. African-American students were forced to walk to the 1st- through 6th-grade schoolhouse, while the city of Pine Level provided bus transportation as well as a new school building for white students.Through the rest of Rosa's education, she attended segregated schools in Montgomery, including the city's Industrial School for Girls (beginning at age 11). In 1929, while in the 11th grade and attending a laboratory school for secondary education led by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes, Rosa left school to attend to both her sick grandmother and mother back in Pine Level. She never returned to her studies; instead, she got a job at a shirt factory in Montgomery. In 1932, at age 19, Rosa met and married Raymond Parks, a barber and an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. With Raymond's support, Rosa earned her high school degree in 1933.

 

She is well known for her stand against racial segregation on public buses in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 1,1955 after a long day of work at a Montgomery department store, where she worked as a seamstress, Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus for home she took a seat in the first of several rows designated for "colored" passengers. As the bus Rosa was riding continued on its route, it began to fill with white passengers. Eventually, the bus was full and the driver noticed that several white passengers were standing in the aisle. Rosa refused to give up her seat for a white man and was arrested, charged with, and convicted of civil disobedience. Rosa recalled that her refusal wasn't because she was physically tired, but that she was tired of giving in. On the evening that Rosa Parks was arrested, Edgar Nixon, head of the local chapter of the NAACP, began forming plans to organize a boycott of Montgomery's city buses.


On the morning of December 5, They formed the Montgomery Improvement Association, electing Montgomery newcomer Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. as minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. The MIA believed that Rosa Parks' case provided an excellent opportunity to take further action to create real change.In response to the ensuing events, members of the African-American community took legal action. Rosa's attorney, Fred Gray, filed the suit. In June 1956, the district court declared racial segregation laws (also known as "Jim Crow laws") unconstitutional. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower court's ruling.

With the transit company and downtown businesses suffering financial loss and the legal system ruling against them, the city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift its enforcement of segregation on public buses, and the boycott officially ended on December 20, 1956.The Montgomery Bus Boycott  is one of the largest and most successful mass movements against racial segregation in history.

Although, she had became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement Rosa Parks suffered hardship months after her arrest in Montgomery and following the boycott. She lost her department store job and her husband was fired after his boss forbade him to talk about his wife or their legal case. Unable to find work, they eventually left Montgomery; the couple, along with Rosa's mother, moved to Detroit, Michigan. There, Rosa made a new life for herself, working as a secretary and receptionist in U.S. Representative John Convyer's congressional office. She also served on the board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

On October 24, 2005, at the age of 92, Rosa Parks quietly died in her apartment in Detroit, Michigan. She had been diagnosed the previous year with progressive dementia, which she had been suffering from since the year of 2002. Her death was marked by several memorial services, among them lying in state at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Rosa’s was buried between her husband and mother at Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery, in the chapel's mausoleum. Shortly after her death, the chapel was renamed the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel.

In honor of Black History Month, TORLIGHTS (Tabernacle of Restoration Light) celebrates Rosa Parks for her bravery and fight against inequality in America and for the her contribution in the liberation of African Americans.

Thank you and God bless you for listening.


A presentation made Sunday the 4th of February 2018 by By Gloria Ajayi at the Tabernacle of Restoration Church of the The Redeemed Christian Church of God,Bronx,New York, in Honour of Rosa Parks on the Celebration of Black History Month.

League of Justice.




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