Parks: A Global Movement

Parks: A Global Movement

Rosa Parks is globally recognized as a historical hero who led the fight to end segregation. In 1955, during the height of racial segregation, Parks sparked a national movement in Montgomery, Alabama. Refusing to give her bus seat to a white man, she was arrested on the scene for violating Montgomery’s segregation codes. This event sparked a national bus boycott, lasting a year and boasting 17,000 black participants. To end the boycott, the US Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional, and through this act of bravery, Parks became a national symbol of dignity and strength to break systemic barriers.

Rosa Parks was also a long-time member of the NAACP, and they recognized that Parks was the right person to fight against segregation; she was a public figure and played a vital role in the civil rights movement. After the bus boycott, Parks and her husband faced much hate and discrimination, leaving Alabama in 1957 and migrating to Detroit. However, they experienced economic and health struggles after arriving in Detroit. In 1961, their situation improved, and they moved into the first floor of their building and stayed there until 1988.

 As a result of her heroic acts and inspiration, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Throughout the course of Rosa Parks’ activism, her strong presence in the movement has been rebuked and even drove her family out of their lifelong home. Rosa and her husband both lost their jobs and sources of income after a specific claim made by white supremacists, claiming that Rosa is an attack on America as a whole. Rosa was arrested twice, first for refusing to give up her seat, and then again for leading the bus boycott. This was a stand taken against segregation, but society and the media decided they needed to shut it down. She was portrayed as a villain and criminal, demonizing the entire movement. In the end, however, it was only strengthened by the swirling chatter.

In the 21st century, Rosa Parks is portrayed as a strong women activist who helped spread the message of the civil rights movement; however, during her time, the media made her seem like a criminal. People went to extreme measures to portray her as a criminal. This affected her life tremendously. Both she and her husband lost their jobs and were shunned from society. It was so bad they had to move from their hometown to Detroit. Besides the criminal spin she was given by society, she was also made to look like a weak, fed-up housewife when, in reality, she was not. Parks had advocated for civil rights before refusing to give up her seat. She had already been a large part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, fighting for civil rights. It is important to remember that Parks was a strong woman who fought for civil rights despite the inaccurate portrayal of the media.     

Parks inspired a national boycott against the social norms at the time. She influenced public attitudes and opened eyes to the racial targeting issue at the time, which we’re still struggling with today. After Parks’ courageous act of boycotting the norms, a newly developed iconic photo was distributed worldwide. It consists of Rosa Parks sitting on the bus, with a white male seated behind her, demonstrating the abolishment of the segregation norms and the newly nonsegregated bus. Her significant advantage over the public perception is that she gathered many people to boycott the “norms” with her. This was as a result of her brave actions on the bus. She helped change the public eye and direct their attention to racial issues. Many were infuriated by her initial arrest, which led to a 381-day-long protest. This led the court to realize that the law of segregation on buses was unconstitutional. This shows her media display, as she caused a country-wide protest. Her movement showed that African American women could be of pivotal roles during the fight for justice.

Rosa Parks shaped the America we know today, for she led the movement that pushed for equality. We must credit her for being brave, standing up for her beliefs, and spearheading a national movement. Parks are a national symbol that inspires many to reach for the sky and create the change they want to see in the world. She is a symbol of hope and perseverance for many. 

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About the Contributors
Kate Hennessy
Kate Hennessy, Features Editor
Jude Lifeset
Jude Lifeset, News Reporter
Katie Jeffers
Katie Jeffers, A&E Reporter
Sophia Copper-Click
Sophia Copper-Click, Health Reporter
Maddie Rootlieb
Maddie Rootlieb, Features Reporter

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