Parks A Civil Rights Pioneer

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, has died. She was 92.

Karen Morgan, a spokeswoman for U-S Representative John Conyers, says Parks died at her home Monday of natural causes.

Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955 that was to change the course of American history and earn her the title "mother of the civil rights movement."

The Montgomery seamstress was an active member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

She was riding on a city bus on December first 1955, when a white man demanded her seat.

Parks refused, despite rules requiring blacks to yield their seats to whites. Two black Montgomery women had been arrested earlier that year on the same charge, but Parks was jailed. She also was fined 14 dollars.

Her arrest triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by a then little-known Baptist minister, the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior, who later earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

The Montgomery bus boycott marked the start of the modern civil rights movement.

The movement culminated in the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, which banned racial discrimination in public accommodations.


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