Racism and prejudice has been a problem in the United States for along time. People have been denied human rights such as getting a fair trial, eating in resturants, or sitting in whatever seat they want in a public bus. In 1955 a woman named Rosa Parks took a stand on a public bus in Montgomery Alabama. She refused to give her seat to a white man and was arrested for not doing so. She was scared of the discrimination of the Jim Crow laws.
Jim Crow laws were laws were intended to keep blacks from mixing with whites. IN the Jim Crow laws blacks were required to give thier seats to whites if there were no more seats. This is what happened to Rosa parks on December 1 1955. On her way home from work she refused to give her seat to a white man and got arrested. Even though she knew what the consequences were, she decided to take a stand. She knew that she would be arrested, but she decided that she would try to make a change.
Rosa Parks stand was so significant that she is called the mother of the civil rights movement. Her arrest made everyone boycott public busses. Led by Martin Luther King for 381 days blacks carpooled, walked, or found other ways of getting around. Despite the harassment, the boycott continued and was extremely successful. The bus company suffered from the loss of fares, but did not desegregate its busses. In 1965, the case was brought to court, and segregation of busses was ruled unconstitutional, the busses were officially desegregated on December 21, 1956.
The movement Rosa Parks started caused the Civil Rights act of 1964 to be passed and the Voting Rights act of 1965. She was elected secretary of the Montgomery branch of the National Advancement of Colored People, unsuccessfully attempted to vote many times to prove her point of discrimination, and had numerous encounters with bus drivers who discriminated against blacks. She received awards, like the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1970 and the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 1980. Rosa Parks’ stand was a mayjor om our society because she showed us that one person can help so many other people by standing up for what they believe in.