Wondering why the name Rosa Parks is trending on Dec. 1? Time for a little history lesson! It’s the 60th anniversary of Rosa’s iconic bus protest that initiated the Civil Rights Movement, and we have 5 things you need to know about Rosa right here!
Even 10 years after her passing, Rosa Parks is still celebrated as one of the bravest women in American history. Often called the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rosa, an African American, became an icon by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Ala. Her courage sparked a 381-day protest that led to a major Supreme Court ruling, desegregating public transportation in Montgomery and eventually leading to desegregation around the country. On the 60th anniversary of her iconic move, learn more about the amazing activist!
1. She was determined to take a stand for African Americans since she was a little girl.
Rosa admitted that she had a “life history of being rebellious,” according to The Nation. When she was scolded by her grandmother for “talking biggity to white folks,” she told her grandma, “I would rather be lynched than live to be mistreated…[and] not be allowed to say ‘I don’t like it.’”
2. Her bus boycott wasn’t the only time she was arrested for her activism.
Although her Dec. 1 arrest for refusing to give up her seat was the most prominent, Rosa was also arrested for taking part in the boycotts following her bus protest. She and 89 others were indicted on an old anti-boycott law.
3. When she wasn’t doing civil rights work, she was a tailor.
Rosa’s seamstress work was her source of income, spending her days in the Montgomery Fair Department Store altering white men’s clothes.
4. Despite growing up in Alabama and protesting there, Rosa actually spent more than half her life in the North.
After making strides in Montgomery with the successful Supreme Court decision in 1956, Rosa found herself struggling financially as well as receiving death threats for her bold actions. She decided to move to Detroit, Mich., with her husband, Raymond, and her mother in 1957 and stayed there until her death in 2005. She expressed that she didn’t necessarily like Detroit more than Montgomery, referring to it as “the promised land that wasn’t” in a 1965 interview.
5. She was the first woman to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
Following her death on Oct. 24, 2005, Rosa’s casket was laid in honor in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. from Oct. 30-31, 2005. She was not only the first woman to lie in honor in the Rotunda, but also just the second African-American.
What do you know about Rosa, HollywoodLifers? Can you believe it has already been 60 years since her iconic protest? Share your thoughts about Rosa below!