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A Woman Who Changed Things: Rosa Parks

1628 words - 7 pages

“Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome” (BrainyQuote.com). No one can change the world by themselves, but they can always make an impact on the world. Rosa Parks, along with others, was one of those people who made an impact on the Civil Rights Movement. She was influenced early in her life, she acted in the Montgomery Bus Boycott; she was affected by the boycott, and had an effect on the Civil Rights Movement.
Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist early in her life. She was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her parents separated when she was at a young age and her mother took her and her family to a town near Montgomery, Alabama to live with her grandparents (Rosa Parks Facts). Rosa’s grandparents were former slaves and strong advocates for racial equality (Rosa Parks Biography). While she lived with her grandparents, she developed strong roots in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (Rosa Parks Facts). She remembers, in her autobiography, when she was little that her grandfather stood at the front door with a loaded shotgun and watched the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, marched by. This frightened her, but, at the same time, this taught her about the prejudices against African Americans at the time. She also remembers many white people that were kind to her family when she was growing up. This taught her to be aware of the prejudices of most, not all, whites in the South. But she refused to allow that to lessen her attitude towards goodness of mankind (Rosa Parks Facts). She was homeschooled until she was sent to a one-room schoolhouse. Her school often lacked the supplies they needed, like desks. At the time, African American children were not allowed to ride the bus to school and they were forced to walk every day. When she was eleven, she attended Industrial School for Girls where she took vocational and academic courses. When Rosa was in the 11th grade, she had to quit school to help take care of her sick grandmother. This resulted in her not completing high school (Rosa Parks Biography).
After quitting school, she started work at a shirt factory (Rosa Parks Biography). Rosa married Raymond Parks, who was a barber, when she was 19. Raymond was also an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP. He encouraged Rosa to go back to high school and earn her high school degree, which she did in 1933 (Rosa Parks Biography). She went on to attend Alabama State College in Montgomery after she got her high school diploma (Hull).
A group of black men, known as the “Scottsboro Boys”, were falsely accused of raping two white women and Rosa and her husband, along with others, fought to raise money to defend them (Rosa Parks Facts). She became involved in civil rights issues after years of influence from her husband. She joined Montgomery’s NAACP as the youth leader and secretary in 1943, which lasted for 13 years (Rosa...

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