Family portrait of father, mother, and baby
Forms part of: Visual Materials from the Rosa Parks Papers (Library of Congress).
Rosa Parks (1913–2005) helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955. Parks was arrested in violation of the city's segregation laws. Her act of defiance sparked a boycott of the city's buses by the African American community, best known as the Montgomery bus boycott. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was led by a young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., lasted for over a year, and ended with the Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. Parks' refusal to give up her seat on the bus is seen as a key moment in the civil rights movement. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation. She is often referred to as the "mother of the civil rights movement." She died in 2005 at the age of 92.