Autobiography of Rosa Parks

My name is Rosa Parks, I hope my name tells you something. I was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama, and I grew up with my mother with my maternal grandparents on a farm. My mother was a teacher, and always taught me when I was a child, values like equality and freedom. In the morning to go to school, I had to walk because the bus was reserved for white schoolchildren. There was also a school for blacks where I went, and other schools for white people. Since childhood I find this difference abnormal, and I believe that many black Americans think the same thing.

When I left my family, I went to study at Montgomery, and it was there that I met my future husband Raymond Parks, who was an activist with the N.A.A.C.P association which fought for the rights of blacks. Unfortunately, my mother and grandmother got sick, so I stopped studying to help them. During this difficult period, Raymond came to ask me in marriage, and encourage me to resume my studies.

In 1934, I was finally graduated, but forced to work as a simple seamstress, because my skin color did not allow me an important position. For several years, I registered on electoral lists but without success. I then joined my husband’s association to fight against inequalities. It was December 1, 1955, the date that marked my life. I quit my job, got into the bus when suddenly the driver asked me to give up my place to a white man … I said “no”! I remained calm in the face of threats from the driver who wanted to call the police to arrest me. I replied “do so”! This act of rebellion, what pride for me! When the police arrived, they handcuffed me and I spent a few hours in prison. Then it’s the trial, I’m found guilty, and I pay a fine.

My arrest caused a lot of misunderstanding, especially at Edgard Daniel Nickson, president of the association N.A.A.C.P. With a young pastor named Martin Luther King, they organize the boycott of the buses. The black community of Montgomery in support of my act, moved on foot or by bicycle. On November 13, 1956, the law that separated whites from blacks was abolished … It was my first victory. Unfortunately, the boss of my racist husband dismissed him because he did not want to

work the husband of this Rosa Parks. And I was not employed either.

Without money, we left Montgomery for Detroit. Some time later, Edgard, Martin, I and the others founded the civil rights movement. I was always on the front line during the protests, and people are starting to call me “the mother” of civil rights. In 1964, I won one more battle, when our President of the Republic signed acts of civil rights. Discrimination was then prohibited by law but I had to continue the fight by participating in the march of Celma in 1965 to claim the right to vote.

From 1970 to 2005, I chained conferences to defend the rights of blacks. It was in 1977 that I created the “Rosa & Raymond Parks institute for self development”, an institute where children are taught equality. In 2005, many parties are organized in my honor. I am proud of all that my entourage and I have accomplished.