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Rosa Parks Stood Tall


Rosa Parks, often referred to as the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" was born on this day in Tuskegee, Alabama, on 1913.

Although she passed away at the age of 92 (Oct. 24, 2005 in Detroit), Parks left a legacy that lives on. Just 5-foot-3, Parks stood tall for her personal rights and the liberties of others that were denied by segregationist Jim Crow laws.

The laws in Montgomery, Alabama, and elsewhere forced African American passengers to get on the front of the bus to pay a fare, exit the bus and re-board at the back of the bus. African Americans were forced to sit at the back of the bus and told to give up their seats to white passengers.

Parks was told to give up her seat but refused on Dec. 1, 1955. She was arrested and jailed that day but released on bail.

Parks was later quoted: "People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

Four days later, when her trial was scheduled, E.D. Nixon, head of the local chapter of the NAACP, organized a boycott of the bus system.

Parks was found guilty of the ordinance and ordered to pay a $10 fine and $4 court fee, but the boycott proved to be highly successful, lasting 381 days and facilitating changes in the treatment of African Americans.

"I was a person with dignity and self-respect, and I should not set my sights lower than anybody else just because I was black," Parks later said.

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