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When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man forty- five years ago on December 1 1955 she was tired and weary from a long day of work At least thats how the event has been retold countless times and recorded in our history books Theres a misconception here that does not do justice to the woman whose act of courage began turning the wheels of the civil rights movement on that fateful dayRosa Parks was physically tired but no more than you or I after a long days work In fact under other circumstances she would have probably have given up her seat willingly to a child or elderly person This time Parks was tired of the treatment she and other African Americans received every day of their lives what with the racismsegregation and Jim Crow laws of the time Our mistreatment was just not right and Iwas tired of it writes Parks in her recent book Quiet Strength Zondervan PublishingHouse 1994 I kept thinking about my mother and my grandparents and how strongthey were I knew there was a possibility of being mistreated but an opportunity wasbeing given to me to do what I had asked of othersThe rest of Parks story is American history her arrest and trial a 381-day Montgomery bus boycott and finally the Supreme Courts ruling in November 1956 that segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional Parks personal history has been lost in the retelling Prior to her arrest Mrs Parks had a firm and quiet strength to
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