Home FEATURES On This Day On This Day: African-American Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks’ Death

On This Day: African-American Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks’ Death

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On this day: in history (2005), Rosa Parks died at 92. She was an African American civil rights activist whose refusal to relinquish her seat on a public bus to a white man in 1955 helped ignite the American civil rights movement.

The United States Congress honoured her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake’s order to vacate a row of four seats in the “colored” section in favour of a White passenger, once the “White” section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) believed that she was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, and she helped inspire the Black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year.

The case became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit Browder v. Gayle resulted in a November 1956 decision that bus segregation is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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Created by Okey Obiabunmo

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