General Question

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Did you know Rosa Parks was not the first person to refuse to give up her seat on the bus?

Asked by Dutchess_lll (8733points) December 16th, 2017

Just learned this.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

VirgoGirl826's avatar

I learned that a few years ago in my African American history class in high school. I feel ashamed now though because unfortunately I don’t remember the young lady’s name…

flutherother's avatar

What about the first white guy not to take a black person’s seat? Did that never happen?

mazingerz88's avatar

No I didn’t know that. But hardly a surprise that another person or more did it before her.

Mariah's avatar

Yes, she was just a good poster child for the movement because people would sympathize more with “woman who’s been working all day refuses to move on the basis of being tired” than “defiant teen stands up to segregation.” It worked. Activism has to be strategic sometimes.

funkdaddy's avatar

There were probably hundreds before that as well. They were just considered criminals at the time though.

It’s what came after that made it memorable. Wikipedia knows what’s up.

Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement.

At the time, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. She had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for training activists for workers’ rights and racial equality. She acted as a private citizen “tired of giving in”. Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards.

janbb's avatar

That is interesting!

rockfan's avatar

Didn’t get to read the article yet, but I know that civil rights leaders wanted Rosa Parks to be the face of the movement instead because they didn’t want to unfairly put the other girl in the spotlight at such a young age.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But they hung out an even younger girl when they desegregated the schools, @rockfan.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Dutchess_III – what was the alternative?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Could have used a guy!

funkdaddy's avatar

@Dutchess_III – I guess you mean Ruby Bridges? They volunteered. And she was integrated the same day as 3 others in the same school system, also volunteers.

There was quite a bit before that as well. Including hostile school integrations for years all across the south, which had to go state by state as they were approved.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Brave children.

Catnip5's avatar

No, I did not know that. But it’s an interesting fact nevertheless. Only a few months apart too. To also second @mazingerz88 ‘s thought on that case, it could hardly come across as a surprise how there were some others like that before Rosa Parks. It just that the latter is more famous and known for it. Kind of like how Christopher Columbus was thought to be the first to discover the Americas, when there’s Leif Eriksson and few other explorers before Columbus’ time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, she was made more famous than Claudette Colvin. It didn’t “just happen.”

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