Rosa Parks Day is celebrated on December 1st in America in honour of Rosa Parks, a brave activist who opposed the racist movement in the United States. She is often referred to as the mother of the liberation movement for her defiance of the long-standing oppressive system.
Rosa Parks was born in Alabama to a Negro family in 1913 and was educated at a rural school before transferring to an institution for girls in Montgomery. Unfortunately, she was unable to complete her studies there due to health issues and having to care for her sick grandmother and mother.
The story of Rosa Parks began in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. Seats on the bus were divided into two types – one for African Americans and one for white people – and Rosa took ‘her’ seat. When the bus driver noticed the white man standing in the aisle, he ordered her to get up but she refused. Subsequently, she was arrested and news of the situation quickly spread.
Rosa’s arrest called America’s racist laws into question and strikes began on the streets. People marched for miles in protest of the oppressive system and the idea spread to other states. The black rights movement grew progressively with many famous figures joining the cause. This eventually resulted in the court overturning the segregation laws. In 2000, National Rosa Parks Day was celebrated for the first time by decision of the California State Legislature.
- Rosa Parks is buried under the dome of the US Congress building – the first and only black woman to be buried in this place of honour.
- According to statistics, a black teenager is more at risk of being shot by American police than a white one.
- Unfortunately, discrimination in one way or another has not yet been eradicated.
How to take part
Read Rosa Parks’ autobiography, ‘Rosa Parks: My Story’, which describes the events before her situation on the bus. Join the rights movement and learn how to help the community. Share quotes from Rosa Parks on social media to help spread awareness of her story and the injustice she faced.
When is Rosa Parks Day celebrated in 2023?
Rosa Parks Day is observed on December 1 each year.