Black History Month - Empowerment

Date: 18th Oct 2022 @ 2:53pm

As part of Black History Month, we have been looking at the impact of actvitists. We compared Emmeline Pankhurst (an famous suffragette who campaigned for women's rights) and Rosa Parks. Rosa was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus bycott. 

On the 1 December 1955 Rosa truly sparked change. After a long day at work, Rosa boarded the bus home and took a seat. At that time in Montgomery, seats at the front of buses were reserved for white passengers, and the seats at the back for black passengers. The bus quickly filled up and when a white man boarded, the driver told the African American passengers to give up their seats for him. Whilst the other black passengers obeyed, Rosa did not. The result was that she arrested by the police and fined for breaking segregation laws! But Rosa refused to pay, and argued that it was the law that was wrong, not her behaviour. 

Sadly, despite the victory, life wasn’t easy for Rosa and her fellow activists after the boycott. Faced with continued violence and threats by angry white groups, Rosa and Raymond moved to Detroit (a city in the northern US state of Michigan), to live with Rosa’s brother. There she continued to promote civil rights and help those suffering from discrimination and injustice. She continued to support the NAACP and many civil rights events, and in 1987 she co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development to provide career training for young people in Detroit.

Rosa received numerous awards for her strength, courage and her incredible work for civil rights – including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.


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