Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks, 1913 - 2005

On December 1, 1955, seamstress Rosa Parks changed America forever when she was arrested for refusing to yield her seat to a white patron on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. Mrs. Parks was found guilty of disorderly conduct and that lead directly to the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott. However, Mrs. Parks was not the "quiet seamstress" as the media has often portrayed her. In 1943 she became a member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and she served as its secretary until 1956. After the Bus Boycott, Mrs. Parks lost her job and, with her husband and mother, relocated to Detroit in 1957. In 1965 she joined the staff of U.S. Representative John Conyers of Michigan and worked until her retirement in 1988. In 1999 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the highest honour a civilian can receive in the United States. She continued to live in Detroit and remained active in the Civil Rights Movement and lent her "Quiet Strength" to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. Mrs. Parks died of natural causes on Monday at her Detroit home. She was 92.

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