A Picture Book of Rosa Parks

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. When was Rosa Parks born?

February 4, 1913. Rosa Parks was born Rosa McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1913. Her mother was named Leona Edwards McCauley, and she was a school teacher. Her father was named James McCauley, and he was a carpenter and house builder. Rosa also had a younger brother named Sylvester. When Rosa was still a baby, her family moved to Pine Level, Alabama, and lived on the farm of Rosa's grandparents. In 1931, Rosa met Raymond Parks. Rosa and Raymond were married in December, 1932, in Rosa's mother's house. Rosa and Raymond lived in Montgomery, Alabama, where Rosa was a seamstress for a department store.

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2. What year did Rosa Parks finish high school?
1933. As a youngster, Rosa's mother taught her to read. When Rosa was six years old, she attended first grade in a one-room school. This school was only for African-American children, and it was only open five months a year. (The school house for white children was open nine months a year.) The schools for African-American children in Pine Level, Alabama, only went to the sixth grade. To continue her studies, Rosa moved to Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa had to leave school to take care of her grandmother and mother when they were ill. Rosa finished high school in 1933.

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3. What did Rosa Parks do on December 1, 1955?
Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a Montgomery bus. In the 1940's, Rosa had joined the NAACP, an organization to help end discrimination against African-Americans. The public bus system in Montgomery, Alabama, was just one example of how African-Americans were discriminated against. African-Americans were only allowed to sit in the back of the bus or they could sit in the middle section as long as no white passengers were standing. Some bus drivers made African-American passengers board the front of the bus to pay, and then made them exit the bus to re-board through the back door. Sometimes the buses would leave before the passengers could re-board. This happened to Rosa in 1943. Bus segregation continued. On Thursday, December 1, 1955, Rosa was sitting in the middle section of a bus. When the bus began to fill up, the driver told Rosa to move to the back of the bus. Rosa refused to move and was arrested. This led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the end of segregation on public buses.

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4. How long did the Montgomery Bus Boycott last?
More than a year. On December 5, 1955, Rosa Parks went to court for not moving to the back of the bus. She was found guilty and fined ten dollars plus court costs. Her actions inspired African-Americans to protest the segregation laws by boycotting the Montgomery bus system. This boycott began on the day of Rosa's trial -- December 5, 1955. Martin Luther King, Jr., the new minister at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, led the boycott and stated, "There comes a time that people get tired. We are here this evening to say to those who have mistreated us so long, that we are tired -- tired of being segregated and humiliated, tired of being kicked about by the brutal feet of oppression." Almost a year later, on November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled bus segregation was illegal. Over a month later, on December 21, 1956, the Montgomery Bus Boycott ended.

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5. What year did Rosa Parks found the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development?
1987. In 1957, Rosa and Raymond moved to Detroit, Michigan. In 1977, Raymond Parks died. Ten years later, Rosa founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development to give young people hope and to help them complete their education.

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6. True or False: Rosa Parks has been called the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement."
True. The Civil Rights Movement helped make it illegal for people to discriminate against other people based on their race, color, religion, or nationality. Rosa Parks received many honors for her work in Civil Rights, including the Spingarn Medal, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize, the Eleanor Roosevelt Woman of Courage Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Also, Cleveland Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama, (the street where Rosa boarded the bus on December 1, 1955) was renamed Rosa Parks Boulevard. Did you know Rosa was a guest at the 1999 State of the Union Address and sat next to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton? President Clinton introduced Rosa by saying, "She's sitting down with the First Lady tonight, and she may get up or not, as she chooses." Today, Rosa lives in Detroit, Michigan. She is 89 years old.

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What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Boycott: To abstain from buying or using something as a means of protest

Discriminate: To make a distinction for or against a person on the basis of the group or class to which the person belongs

Desegregation: The elimination of racial segregation or separation in schools, restaurants, and other public places

"Jim Crow" Laws: Laws segregating or separating African-Americans and white people in public places and on public transportation

NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; an organization working to end the unfair treatment of African-Americans

Civil Rights Movement: The fight for the rights of all people of all races to be treated as equals

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Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a. Describe how African-Americans were discriminated against during Rosa Parks' life.
There were laws segregating African-Americans and white people. There were separate schools, churches, hotels, theaters, restaurants, drinking fountains, and other public places. There was separate seating on buses, trains, streetcars, and other modes of public transportation. African-American children did not have the same opportunities in school as white children. The schools for African-Americans were older and smaller. Sometimes the schools were only one-room schools. Also, these schools were only open five months a year, rather than nine months a year.

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b. What happened on May 17, 1954?
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled school segregation was unconstitutional. The case was Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Did you know Thurgood Marshall was the lawyer arguing against segregation? He won the case. In 1967, Marshall was appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, making him the first African-American to serve on the high court.

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c. What happened on November 13, 1956?
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled bus segregation was unconstitutional. This decision stated Alabama's state and local laws requiring segregation on buses were unconstitutional. It helped end the Montgomery Bus Boycott on December 21, 1956.

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d. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers will vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
A boycott is a nonviolent way to protest and voice your opinion.

I think it is wrong when people discriminate against other people.

Supreme Court desegregation decisions allowed our schools to become integrated.

"Jim Crow" Laws kept desgregation from occuring in public places because they discriminated against people based on race.

Rosa Parks was a member of the NAACP.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

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e. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

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More Valuable Information about Rosa Parks:
Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development
National Women's Hall of Fame: Rosa Parks
TIME 100: Heroes & Icons - Rosa Parks
The Troy State University Montgomery: Rosa Parks Library & Museum
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

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