This Day in History

Dec. 1, 1955: Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Seat

Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Women's History

On Dec. 1, 1955 Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

Rosa Parks Highlander School | Zinn Education Project

Source: Civil Rights Digital Library

In “The Politics of Children’s Literature: What’s Wrong with the Rosa Parks Myth” from Rethinking Schools, Herbert Kohl deconstructs the myth of a meek and tired Rosa Parks and a spontaneous boycott.

Students are invited to hear first hand accounts from Parks herself and are given a context for the community organized efforts and steadfast determination that was the reality of this well known but largely mis-represented chapter in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

In the image is Rosa Parks at a desegregation workshop at Highlander Folk School in Tennessee in July 1955 (six months before the boycott). Also in the photo: Septima Poinsette Clark, F.D. Patterson, and C.H. Parrish.