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The Bus: More Than Just A Bus?

1056 words - 4 pages

On December 1, 1955 the 42 year old, NAACP secretary found herself in the middle of what would be later classified as the first huge movement in desegregating America especially the South. Parks was thrown in jail that day, but she wouldn’t stay for long. Martin Luther King Jr. and Edgar Daniel Nixon worked hard and fast to plain their retaliation to this injustice. Four days later on Monday December 5, the bus boycott began. Black cab drivers and those with cars help to transport African Americans where need be. (Gates 223-224) Rosa Parks pled guilty, but was fined fourteen dollars and convicted. King and Nixon used this incident as a catapult to launch their plans of desegregating America by peaceful protests and demonstrations (Lowery 420). In 1876 the Jim Crow Laws were created in belief that African Americans and white Americans were born “separate but equal.” White and African Americans shared nothing; not bus seats, schools, restrooms, water fountains, and even where they sat in restaurants. In making these laws white Americans made it crystal clear to everybody that they felt superior when compared to the African American race. To most, Rosa Parks’ insubordination towards the Jim Crow Laws came as a surprise, but those that knew her wondered why it took so long. When Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus instead of the back and then refused to move for a white man, some southern white Americans felt that their comfort zone and community was being threatened, but many felt that this was the right thing to do. This paper will focus on the beliefs of southern white Americans and the fact that they felt like change was a must.
Born on February 4, 1913 to James and Leona McCauley, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks could recognize that her race and people were not being treated equally. Rose spent her adolescent years in Tuskegee, Alabama, but began to attend an all-girls school in Montgomery at the age of eleven. After her grandmother died, Rosa moved back to Montgomery and soon after married Raymond Parks, a popular barber and civil rights activist there. He encouraged her to finish high school and get her diploma and he also introduced her to E. D. Nixon, the leader of the NAACP branch in Montgomery. With her impeccable writing skills, Nixon felt she was perfect for the secretary position and he put her to work immediately. Rosa helped many black Americans to obtain their documentation to be able to vote Parks enjoyed helping others to gain their rights and she herself became a very excited and enthusiastic activist (Gates 221-222).
In pre Jim Crow Laws era, the laws weren’t only a list of rigorous written down laws, but a lifestyle. The Jim Crow Laws were created on the belief that the God chose and mandated that white Americans were the chosen people and that African Americans were damned by God to always be slaves. The creators of this law also use Social Darwinism to reason that what they were doing was right. These separated whites and...

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