On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for failing to give her seat in the front of a public bus to a white man, which led to a protest and boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system, ending December 21, 1956.
A city ordinance stated that all persons of color must sit in the back half of the bus, and in the instance the back half of the bus was full, they must give up their seats to white people if they wanted to sit down.
For more than a year —381 days— Martin Luther King Jr. organized people of color in Montgomery, Alabama in a city rebellion, raising awareness across the globe about the unfair treatment of African Americans in that city and across the nation.
Rosa Parks sat in jail for 4 days. But she shouldn’t have had to. Yes, there was a city ordinance in place, but was it just? The answer is no. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the segregation laws in Montgomery were unconstitutional. Here, Rosa Parks can be sitting on the front of the bus in the days following that ruling.
This year the country celebrated the second annual Rosa Parks Day. On Sunday, December 1, a statue was revealed in her honor in Montgomery, Alabama.
“Today, on the second official Rosa Parks Day, we honor a seamstress and a servant, one whose courage ran counter to her physical stature,” said Mayor Steven Reed, the city’s first African American mayor. “She was a consummate contributor to equality and did so with a quiet humility that is an example for all of us,” shares CNN.