On February 4, 1913, Rosa Parks, an African American civil rights activist was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. She moved to Montgomery, Alabama soon after her little brother was born and her parents separated. She pursued her education until she had to take care of her ill mother and grandmother. She later got a job as a seamstress with her husband, Raymond. However, on December 1, 1955, when she was going home after a long day of work, the bus driver told her to move to the back of the bus to make room for a group of white men. She refused. This resulted in her arrest. Other African Americans then began to boycott the buses. The boycott lasted 381 days. Rosa Parks had an important impact on the Civil Rights Movement because she began a change that helped stop racism and modified the way most people treat different races. However, we still need to keep moving forward to stop racism because there are still matters that have not been taken care of.
Rosa Parks took a courageous stand and became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. First, Rosa Parks explained what she did and why she did not give up her seat, clarifying the rumors about her being tired. Rosa Parks said, “People always say that I did not give up my seat because I was tired…I was not tired physically… no, the only tired I was was tired of giving in.” Rosa Parks was acting on purpose to make a change and she did take a courageous stand because she took a big risk when she did it. Second, Rosa Parks created a 381 day bus boycott and encouraged lots of other people to begin the Civil Rights Movement. Loc.gov notes “The arrest led to the Montgomery bus boycott, a seminal event in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and was a defining moment in Parks long career as an activist.” The boycott was a starting point to the Civil Rights Movement because it helped people realize that a change was needed. Also, after the boycott started, Martin Luther King Jr. emerged out of the crowd of protesters and helped lead the movement. Some might argue that Rosa Parks only took a stand by sitting down, but she did more than that. According to americanhistory.mordonn.org, “The first change came on November 13, 1956 when the Supreme Court ruled that Alabama’s laws requiring segregation on buses… was illegal.” When Rosa Parks took a stand, the government noticed it and said that they needed to stop the segregation on buses which show that her action was more meaningful. Rosa Parks took a risk and took a stand that motivated others to do the same in order to end segregation.
Rosa Parks made an effort to help people accept other people’s races. First, Rosa Parks persuaded the government to give blacks the right to be in upper class and in middle class with lots of academic opportunities. As stated on legalzoom.com, “… she saw an end to legalized segregation… and emergence of black upper class and middle class. People of color now enjoy… business and education opportunities.” By encouraging the government, she was a part of the change that allowed blacks to have the same rights as whites. She helped a bigger group and not just herself and made people accept blacks. In addition, Rosa Parks worked for a U.S. senator and won 2 medals from the government. She won the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Award for Freedom. legalzoom.com explains that “It was behind the secretary’s desk that she continued to… promote civil rights….” As a result of Parks winning these awards and working for the government, people actually started to think that blacks were worth just as much as other people and started accepting them. Rosa Parks’ bus boycott led to national boycotts, one of which was led by a protester, Martin Luther King Jr., which put him in the public spotlight. iipdigital.usembassy.gov states that “The boycott also raised to a national prominence a youthful, little known minister named Martin Luther King Jr.” Rosa Parks’ boycott encouraged Martin Luther King Jr. to lead his own larger protest, which opened many more eyes to the segregation problem. Rosa Parks had a significant effect on getting a larger public to acknowledge the issue and work towards making a change.\
However, People have to follow in her footsteps to make more change so that we can eliminate segregation. We need to keep Rosa Parks’ legacy. To begin, just like Rosa Parks, we need to treat people equally. As said on orig.jacksonsun.com “… we see that anyone can be successful as long as he has the desire. It is not a matter of color… it’s a matter of willpower and determination.” Rosa Parks personified this statement because she always thought that the color of people’s skin did not matter and to fix the the problem we need to be in the right mindset and have a little confidence. Secondly, a student who led the Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis, explained that society needs to keep improving to eliminate racism by taking a stand, like Parks did. As stated on cbsnews.com, “Lewis added that the social changes of today… highlight the continued need for activists and teachers to honor her spirit.” Lewis comments on the bad things that people still need to work on today, like certain racial groups in poverty and the need to stand up against inequality just like Parks would. Finally, some people disagree saying that we cannot help any more. That is, however, arguable because there are still matters that need to be taken care of. As stated on cbsnews.com, “We use history as our guide to help young people make better choices and better decisions. If we use Rosa Parks as a legacy to teach children, those kids will become smarter.” There is hope that the next generation will help solve racial problems that still exist. Rosa Parks built a strong starting point for the next generation to follow in order to finish the fight.
In conclusion, Rosa Parks positively impacted the Civil Rights Movement in many ways: she began a fight that led to the end of segregation and how people of color are accepted; she won many awards and was well known around the United States. We still need to keep changing with protests or boycotting like she did. Finally, even though we say that Parks was a U.S. hero, we will never know what would have happened if she had never gotten on that bus, had given up her seat as requested or if she had never even lived.