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Rosa Parks act of defiance triggered a bus boycott that became a landmark in the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s Although her place in history is firmly secured the legendary Rosa Parks continues to lead by example and deserves a special note of thanks On one dark December day in 1955 Mrs Parks only intent was to get home after a long day of work as a seamstress It was an established rule in the American south at that time that African-American riders had to sit at the back of the bus African-American riders were also expected to surrender their seat to a white bus rider if it was needed When a white man got on the bus and the driver ordered the black people in her row in the colored section to move to the rear she reflected on the songs of freedom her mother sang to her the lessons gleaned from the Bible and her belief that people should stand up for things that are right and challenge those that are wrong She gathered her faith her quiet strength and determination and decided that it was time to make a stand Her subsequent arrest and boycott became a powerful symbol of peaceful resistance for the civil rights movement In court Mrs Parks was ordered to pay a 10 fine plus 4 in court costs But it would take the ensuing bus boycott and court battles more than a year to end after the US Supreme Court declared bus segregation unconstitutional Yet none of this may have been possible if Mrs Parks did not epitomize how a passionate yet responsible individual can use moral authority to succeed This civil rights pioneer was the embodiment of the kind of character Martin Luther King Jr often espoused in his eloquent speeches She was never a fiery activist although she and her husband Raymond worked with youth groups for the
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