Back to: Kerala Board Class 8th English Guide and Notes
Table of Contents
- Rosa Parks: An American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott.
- A white man: The man who asks Rosa to offer her seat to him.
- The driver: He gets angry when Rosa refuses to move.
- The police: They arrest Rosa for not following the law.
‘Rosa Parks Sat Still’ is a real incident. It tells how Rosa Parks brought a change in the lives of millions of African-Americans. Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has honoured her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.
Rosa Parks creates history
This chapter is about a freedom fighter who fought against the white people for the Black people’s rights in America. Rosa Parks was a hard-working woman and when she left her workplace on December 1st, 1955, after an exhausting day as work had been heavier than usual her only thought was to take a rest. When she got into the bus, so many seats were vacant and she occupied one seat. There were White people and Black people on the bus and the rule was such that black passengers had to give up their seats when white passengers came in. They had to get off the bus go round to the back door and get on the bus again as standing passengers.
Rosa protests to follow the law
Rosa parks protested against such a rule. A white man approached her but she refused to get up and give him the seat as she had paid the same as the white passenger and he is neither old nor disabled. According to her the rule was unfair and thus it does not need to be obeyed, if people go on obeying such a bad rule, then it will stay in the book forever and someone should do something about it someday and the day was that day itself.
All the Black Americans boycott the public bus
She refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. All the passengers were infuriated and this made the driver angry, he brought the police in and they arrested Rosa. When the news of Rosa’s arrest spread, the black people decided to fight for her. They knew that they could not fight with the police. So, they decided to fight with the bus company. No black passenger would use city buses until Rosa was freed. They went to work in private cars.
The boycott continued for 381 days. This resulted in the freedom struggle of the Blacks in America. In the court, there were many people who argued for her rights. Thus, the white people came to know that there should not be any difference between white people and Black people. This incident on the bus changed millions of minds of Americans. The judges of the Supreme- Court said that segregation was unlawful in public transport services.
The other incident took place long before similar to Rosa’s
Since the incident, Rosa Parks began the black American people’s fight for fairness and justice for all human beings. Americans call her the ‘Mother of the Black Civil Rights Movement’. Many years before Rosa Parks sat still on that bus, something else had happened in another country. A man called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi sat still on a train in South Africa. He refused to get off. The white passengers threw him out. There are many other stories of his courage, and of the courage, others got from him to fight for their rights.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks taught the world a valuable lesson that we can fight for our beliefs by not tolerating everyday acts of injustice and oppression. Our awareness of these injustices and our willingness to act against them may be present in our own private thoughts, in words shared with others, or through actions of visible defiance and civil disobedience.