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What Role Did These People Play In Black And White Relations? Rosa Parks Martin Luther King Rodney King

1136 words - 5 pages

Racial segregation assumed its form in the United States after the Civil War. It meant that in America, African Americans were denied many rights that they were entitled to. They were prevented from voting, denied equal share in community life, were forced to attend special schools, and were forced to only occupy special areas in public transport, (among other things). But eventually the African American people had had enough, and so the civil rights movement began. There were some prominent people involved in the fight for equality; among them were Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rodney King.It is said that Rosa Parks is the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." Rosa Parks is an American civil rights activist, born in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1913. She attended Alabama State Teachers College and held a variety of jobs, but in 1943 she became one of the first women to join the Montgomery Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. She served as the organizations secretary from 1943 to 1956.Rosa Parks is the woman famous for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery in 1955. In her recent book she says; "Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it." This refusal helped to bring about the civil rights movement in the United States.Her arrest for violating a city law (that whites and blacks must sit in different sections on buses) sparked a boycott of the bus system. An organization was formed to run the boycott; Martin Luther King, Jr. was chosen as president.The boycott lasted 382 days, from the 5th of December 1955 to the 20th of December 1966. It ended when the United States Supreme Court declared segregated seating on the cities buses unconstitutional. The success of the boycott encouraged other mass protests demanding civil rights for blacks.As a result of her arrest, Parks lost her job as a seamstress and moved to Detroit in 1957. From 1967 to 1988 she worked on the Detroit staff of John Conyers, Jr., a Democratic member of the U.S House of Representatives. In 1979, she won the Spingarn Medal for her work in Civil Rights, and she was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.Martin Luther King, Jr., is said to have been a man of impressive moral presence. He was born on January the 15th in Atlanta in 1929; he was the second of three children. At the age of 15 he entered Morehouse College in Atlanta and decided to become a Minister. King was ordained in 1948 and entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, to earn a Divinity degree. He then went to graduate school at Boston University, where he got a Ph.D. degree in Theology in 1955. He married Coretta Scott in 1953, and had four children. In 1954, King became a pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.King's First civil rights activity was the protest of Montgomery's segregated bus system in 1955; his successful organization of the boycott catapulted him into national...

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