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Rosa Parks
(1913-2005)

I did not get on the bus to get arrested. I got on the bus to go home.
—Rosa Parks

How she sat there
Right inside a place so wrong it
Was ready

—From "Rosa," in On the Bus with Rosa Parks by Rita Dove

There comes a time that people get tired. We are here ... to say to those who have mistreated us for so long, that we are tired, tired of being segregated and humiliated, tired of being kicked about by the brutal feet of oppression.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

On December 1, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks sat down so that we could all stand up for our rights. Coming home from work as a dressmaker in Montgomery, Alabama, she refused to yield her seat on the bus to a white passenger as required by law, and was promptly arrested. This action/reaction/inaction was the catalyst for the civil rights movement in the South and catapulted Dr. Martin Luther King from the pulpit of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery onto the national and international stage as a champion of civil rights. On that fateful night, Mrs. Parks was simply tired, not sick and tired of being sick and tired as most black folk in the South were at that time.

Rosa Parks' "no" reverberated across the black social and political spectrum, challenging black and white America. The civil rights movement; its step-child the Black Power movement; and its flip side, the Black Nationalist movement heightened the contradictions in America. A resurgence of black pride, dignity and power shook America at its roots as black folk asserted that, as the popular saying went, "We ain't what we ought to be, we ain't what we want to be, we ain't what we gonna be, but thank God we ain't what we was."

On October 31, 2005, Mrs. Rosa Parks lay in state in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C. As thousands filed past her coffin, America paid its homage and debt to the woman who sat down so that we could stand up.
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Books

Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today's Youth, Rosa Parks and Gregory J. Reed. Lee & Low Books, 1996.
Buy it in hardcover: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca
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Buy it in school binding: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

I Am Rosa Parks, Rosa Parks and James Haskins. Dial Books, 1997.
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Buy it in school binding: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems, Rita Dove. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc, 1999.
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Quiet Strength. Rosa Parks and Gregory J. Reed. Zondervan, 1995.
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Buy it on audiocassette: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Rosa Parks, Douglas Brinkley. Viking Books, 2000.
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Buy it in hardcover (large print): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca
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Buy it on audiocassette: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca
Buy it as an audio download: Audible.com

Rosa Parks, Eloise Greenfield. HarperCollins, 1996.
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Buy it in school binding: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Rosa Parks: My Story, Rosa Parks and James Haskins. Dial Books, 1992.
Buy it in hardcover: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca
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Buy it in school binding: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Search for 'Rosa Parks' on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.
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