Rosa Parks (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Rosa Parks, who is well known for her refusal to relinquish her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955, was a civil rights advocate before she committed her historic and heroic act.
The oldest of two children, Rosa Lee McCauley was born on February 4, 1913, to Leona Edwards McCauley and James McCauley. Her mother was an educator; her father, a carpenter. The influences in young Rosa’s life included her mother and her grandparents. According to Parks, half of her life was spent in a segregated South that “allowed white people to treat black people without any respect.” Rosa’s parents were separated a great deal of the time. His occupation in carpentry and construction took James away from home often. Her mother resented being left alone. By the time her brother was born, her parents had separated. She did not see her father again until she was five. Rosa, her mother, and her brother moved in with her maternal grandparents. They lived in Pine Level, Alabama, where Rosa was to spend her formative years. Her brother, who was two years and seven months younger, doted on Rosa’s every word and action. She became his protector and primary caretaker while her mother worked.
Rosa was small for her age. Her health was poor and her growth appeared to be stunted. She also suffered from chronic tonsillitis. These problems kept her out of school for...
(The entire section is 2193 words.)
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