The display will be written in the form of diary entries in the perspective of Rosa Parks. Diary entries provide a clearer understanding of Rosa Parks, and shows a personalised account of her thoughts and feelings and her journey to becoming ‘the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.’ They will include how she felt and reacted to certain events, and her previous life experiences which helped her become the women she later grew up to be.
Rosa Parks is a well known civil rights activist who stood up for her beliefs and principles. She is commonly acknowledged for her initiation of the Montgomery Bus Boycott which began after her famous bus ‘stand.’ On the evening of December 1st, 1955, Parks was pushed to her absolute limits. After a long day at work serving the local chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People), Rosa Parks took a seat near the middle of the local bus in Montgomery, just behind the front ‘white’ section, after being demanded she exit the bus and re-enter through the rear. As the bus pulled up at the next stop, every seat of the ‘white’ section was taken, so the bus driver ordered the black passengers in the middle row in which Rosa was seated, to stand so a ‘white’ man could take their seats. At this point, Parks felt she had been pushed as far as she could stand to be pushed, and refused to give up her seat.
After the other African-Americans gave up their seats in the middle row, the bus driver approached her individually. “Are you going to stand up?” She looked at the driver dead in the eye and said as she tried to contain her anger and fear, “No.” The bus driver seemed surprised and powerless. “If you don’t get up, I’m going to have you arrested.” Still looking at him in the eye she forced out of her mouth, “You may do that.” Furious at the civil disobedience Parks conducted, he called the police asking to have her arrested.
When the police arrived, Rosa was still planted in the same seat. One officer approached her and witnessed that she was in fact sitting in the correct section of the bus. After the bus driver moved the coloured sign to behind her, it made it look like she was in the wrong seat. The officer then believed she was guilty and arrested her.
When Rosa Parks’ husband Raymond Parks, discovered her arrest he was furious and immediately tried to free her out of prison. Unfortunately, he failed – as he was ‘black.’ After his failure to retrieve his wife, he contacted Rosa’s boss, Mr Ed Nixon, as he was also ‘black’ this plan was unsuccessful as well. However, Rosa and her boss knew a ‘white’ man named Clifford Durr, who was able to rescue Parks and return her home safely.
Four days after Rosa’s arrest, she was asked to attend an important meeting at which Martin Luther King would be accompanying. To Parks’ surprise she accepted the offer and attended the meeting on the 5th of December, 1955. During this meeting, Rosa, Martin Luther King, Rosa’s boss and many other African-American civil rights activists and members of the NAACP and other associations, confessed their feelings of neglect and shame the ‘white’ people bestowed upon them. As a result of this, they established a potential riot they and other African-Americans would conduct, inspired by Parks’ bus ‘stand,’ which is now known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The media took notice of Parks’ heroic and brave protest, and word spread around Montgomery through to Alabama, inspiring others to stand up for their rights as a human. As of that day, African-Americans refused to use the local public busses as their transport for 381 days. This resulted in a close bankruptcy of the city, forcing the ‘whites’ to desegregate their busses on the 20th of December, 1956.