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Let’s Celebrate Rosa Parks’ Birthday!

Let’s Celebrate Rosa Parks’ Birthday!

Join us as we remember this civil rights hero in honor of her birthday.

On this day in 1913, civil rights leader Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama.  Best known for her pivotal role in in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Parks is widely considered “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”  In honor of this inspiring woman’s birthday, here’s some interesting facts about her historic stand.

  • On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama public bus, to a white man. At that time, that was a violation of the city’s racial segregation laws.  According to the state’s laws, white riders were allowed to sit up front while black riders were to sit in the back of the bus.  However, if the white section filled up, then black riders were expected to give their seats up.
  • Parks was seated in the front row of the black section. When the white bus driver asked her to give her seat to a white rider, she refused.
  • Parks was arrested and, upon hearing of her arrest, the black community arranged a boycott of the bus system.
  • Starting on December 5, 1955, the black community refused to take the bus, instead choosing to carpool or walk miles to work and school.
  • Black ridership of the bus system represented 70% of the paying customers. As one might imagine, this had a crippling effect on their ability to generate revenue and sustain their business.
  • The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., then a 26-year-old Baptist minister, is credited with leading the bus boycott. He and his family received several death threats in the aftermath, and at one point, his home was bombed.  Fortunately, he and his family managed to escape injury.
  • The boycott lasted for over a year. On November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court struck down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws.  The U.S. Supreme Court found the segregation laws to violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • On December 20, Reverend King issued the following statement: “The year-old protest against city buses is officially called off, and the Negro citizens of Montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis.” The boycott ended the next day. Rosa Parks was among the first to ride the newly desegregated buses.

This is such a beautiful and eloquent example of how one person can effect change.  The power of one, thank you Rosa Parks for leading us out of dark times!

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we celebrate Rosa Parks and her role in the Montgomery bus boycott in honor of her birthday. Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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