1955: Parks Against Segregation

by Kayla Wright

Despite being surrounded by segregation, Rosa Park’s courage never quivered to stand up for her morals and what she believed in. Rosa had all the reasons to be worried about the outcome of her actions but that never stopped her. Influencing the culture to take a stand was something she didn't expect out of such a small action. Bravery is a characteristic that takes a huge form in Rosa.

“I was not scared of taking this action, I would have been more scared to have done nothing and allow them to demean me. I am a human being who does not deserve to be treated differently than anyone else. My skin color shouldn't make me less than any other average person.” stated Rosa.

Sometimes consequences are brought as an effect of courageous actions, Rosa learned this very suddenly. Standing up for what you believe in can be difficult because of what can happen as an effect. While taking this action, Parks threw away any negative feeling and followed what she had believed in.

“I did not think jail was going to be an option until the man said I was going to be arrested. I was a little scared to go to jail, but it didn't make me regret what I did. I stood up for myself and every other African American” said Rosa.

Interested in the background that Rosa had in her life as a child, asking about her upbringing was important. Negativity was clearly built up to have the guts to make this action. Being born in this time period took a big toll on Any African American and Rosa stepped up to the plate when it was needed. Children don't realize as much as adults do regarding segregation but when times continued, they start to see how unfair things actually are.

“I never thought much of it as a child, but as time went on and I got older I realized that people were not getting treated the same. I watched my parents go through so much and do so much for little in return. I was never upset that I wasn't as “lucky” as other kids. I had a good work ethic and I took after my parents” replied Rosa.

Going off of the last question mainly, a lot of African Americans were not fortunate enough to have the same school experience as white people did. Rosa’s school did not have the same necessities, such as good learning material or nice water fountains that schools for white people had. Every aspect of life was divided down the middle regarding segregation.

“I was born almost 50 years after slavery took place, I was allowed to read and did attend a small school that had about 60 students with one teacher. I loved reading and the fact that my mom was a teacher helped me a lot. Even though I wouldn't attend school most of the school year, I would help my parents on the farm” stated Rosa.

Even though time has passed and things are starting to change little by little, there are still a lot of problems in the society. Rosa stuck up for herself and her beliefs, but most others fail to stand up for what they believe in. All African Americans are still not pleased and won't be until segregation is put to a stop. Sticking up for yourself and your beliefs is a way for people to band together to take this problem head on, but there are also other ways that society could change.

“ Slavery is abolished but African Americans are clearly still not treated with the same respect as white people. I think there is a lot of work and growth to be done for future years. If everyone would have the mindset that everyone was born the same, there wouldn't be a difference in anyone. “ said Rosa.

            Standing up for herself is clearly an easy task for Rosa, but did she know the significance this was going to have on everyone? Sticking up for herself was an example to other people as well. Not knowing that one simple action of hers would change society in a huge way, Rosa changed the life of many African American.

            “ I just simply was standing up for my beliefs and what I thought was needed. I was not thinking about long term at the moment.  I'm glad refusing to move my seat brought up a problem so now people can continue to stand up for themselves, with and ultimate goal of equality” Humbly stated Rosa.

            There comes a certain point when people get tired of being treated in a bad manner. African Americans were never given a chance to feel the same as white people and have as equal of same opportunities. As Rosa grew older, she hit a wall and became fed up with the constant feeling of discomfort in her world.

            “I was very fed up, The world is a place for everyone to be able to make their own happiness, and if that opportunity is not given, then the world doesn't seems that great a place” Rosa said.

            Even though Rosa made standing up for herself look like a walk in the a park, it wasn't as simple as it looked. Knowing that there were going to be consequences, Rosa never showed any emotion that was was scared of what was to come. Most people would fear the outcome and give in, but Rosa stood her ground.

            “ I never felt embarrassed or ashamed of standing up for myself. I felt uneasy because I did not know what was going to come next. At that point I felt like I was losing some of my dignity for being removed from a bus because of a seat.” replied Rosa.

            Changing history is a long shot but it is something that is very possible. However, not caring about the credit she gets, Rosa just wants everyone to change their mindset on African Americans and life in general.

“ I would hope this does change history, not for the credit, or even to go down in history to be someone that changed it, but just for the time African Americans are taking a stance.  I've been waiting for history to change for a while now, and I don't think something so small as refusing to leave a seat will change it.  I think bravery from everyone is going to start coming out, and that is what is going to change history. “ Stated Mrs. Parks

Rosa, a brave, smart and caring individual has started a movement for many to take after. She has done amazing things in her life and this is the beginning of a new era for everyone. Little changes will come together and make big ones for everyone to look up to.

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