Rosa Parks

Pen and Ink. 

14 in by 11 in

2013

Text by Rosa Parks:

"On December 1, 1955, I made a very important decision that changed my life and the lives of many others. On that day I left work feeling tired. I had worked many hours sewing at my job in a department store. I got on a bus and took a seat. Black people were not allowed to sit in the front of the bus. They had to sit in the back. Only white people could sit in the front. It was the law in Montgomery and many other parts of the South. The bus began filling up. Soon there were no seats left. The bus driver told me and some others to give up our seats for white people. I was the only one who did not follow the bus driver’s orders. I was then arrested and taken to jail. When I was released from jail I decided to not pay the $14 fine and instead fight to change the unfair bus law. My friends helped to organize a bus boycott. An important minister helped tell people about the boycott. His name was Martin Luther King, Jr. He told people to fight for what they believed in, but to do it peacefully. Then, on December 20, 1956, the city of Montgomery got an order from the United States Supreme Court. It said that buses could no longer be segregated. This was a great victory. But, many restaurants, stores and even hospitals were still not open to African- Americans. It took many years, and many battles, to end segregation. I, Rosa Parks, worked hard for the Civil Rights movement. I received many honors and awards for all that I have done. I have met many many famous people including presidents. I helped to find housing for the homeless. I founded an institute to provide education and guidance for young people and teach them about black history. Museums and libraries and even a street has been named after me. I hope my story will inspire others to stand up for themselves. I would like for all people to be treated with dignity and respect."