Most children learn about Rosa Parks’ contribution to the Civil Rights Movement thusly: She boarded a bus, refused to move to the back of the bus when a white passenger got on board, and was promptly arrested, kicking off the Montgomery bus boycott. Lasting roughly 13 months, the Montgomery bus boycott lead to an official Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation on public transportation unconstitutional.
While that did indeed happen, what is often overlooked is Rosa Parks’ earlier involvement with the civil rights movement. She was a member of the Montgomery NAACP chapter and even served as secretary for NAACP President E.D. Nixon. In honor of what would have been her 100th birthday this year, the Huffington Post recently highlighted some lesser known facts about Rosa Parks, including the fact that she had been thrown off the bus 10 years earlier by the same driver:
She had avoided that driver’s bus for twelve years because she knew well the risks of angering drivers, all of whom were white and carried guns. Her own mother had been threatened with physical violence by a bus driver, in front of Parks who was a child at the time. Parks’ neighbor had been killed for his bus stand, and teenage protester Claudette Colvin, among others, had recently been badly manhandled by the police.
Read the rest of the facts at the link and let us know – did you know any of this about Rosa Parks?