The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks Classroom Screening Licenses

The 2022 documentary The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks is based on the bestselling biography by Jeanne Theoharis, executive produced by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, and directed by Johanna Hamilton and Yoruba Richen.

The film chronicles Parks’ childhood, her activism before and during the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott, her work for Congressman John Conyers in Detroit, and her involvement in causes such as voting rights, anti-apartheid, reparations, fair housing, women’s rights, and the fight against police violence.

Thanks to support from the Soledad O’Brien Productions and The Ford Foundation, teachers and teacher educators were able to access licenses to share the film with their students from January 1 to March 31, 2023.

More About the Film and Related Resources

The documentary includes interviews with Jeanne Theoharis, Barbara Smith, Robin D. G. Kelley, Francis Gourrier, Keisha N. Blain, Mary Frances Berry, Ericka Huggins, Bryan Stevenson, Patrice Cullors, Rev. JoAnn Watson, Dan Aldridge, Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, Frank Joyce, and more. Also included are recorded interviews from Eyes on the Prize with Jo Ann Robinson.

Learn about the film and see clips in this Democracy Now! program with Jeanne Theoharis and Yoruba Richen.

Other Ways to See the Film

The film is streaming on Peacock. Here is the trailer.

Teaching Guide

Check out the teaching guide for The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks book and film.


Find additional teaching resources below.

17 comments on “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks Classroom Screening Licenses

  1. Roseanne Puzzello on

    I teach a civil rights unit tied with novels and event re-enactments to my 6th graders. This will wonderfully enrich their understanding of what it meant to live during this time and how everyday people were incredibly brave heroes.

  2. Shandra D. Hinze on

    I will use this documentary with my students to make them aware that Rosa Parks helped other people. The documentary will show that Ms. Parks accomplished many other things besides refusing to stand on the bus to allow a white person to sit. This documentary will also be a lesson to show that your OWN learning and research about a topic or subject can open their eyes to other important facts. There is more information, facts, and knowledge to learn than what you are taught in school.

  3. Sharon Jones Phinney on

    I am looking forward to showing this to my students in grades 5-8. They know the myth but need to know the truth. She was a fighter and a maverick in the field with many others who paved the way for us all.

  4. Mcassidy67 on

    I am looking forward to sharing a more complete story of such a mighty warrior and broadening my students’ understanding about the men and women who put their lives on the line to fight for the rights guaranteed in our founding documents. Thank you for all you do to make our ability to teach the truth and our students’ educational experience so much richer.

  5. Kate Mann on

    I’m teaching a unit on finding courage. I have a small set of books but am hoping to use the film so that other students can see this side of her story.

  6. kathy durham on

    I love the Zinn Education Project. You have provided me with invaluable resources – for free – that have allowed me to teach a more honest, inclusive and balance view of history to my students. My students are able to examine your source material, develop their own questions of inquiry, more thoroughly research topics of interest and come to their own conclusions and judge both history and historical characters for themselves. Your resources, lessons and materials provide me with the tools I need to teach honest history and my students are able to better understand why the world the live in for better or worse is the way it is through learning an honest account of American history.

    Thank you ZINN

  7. Patrick Coghlan on

    We are looking forward to using the Zinn Education Project resources in U.S. History class this semester.

  8. Steven Friedman on

    I will show this to my 8th grade US history students as we learn about the Constitution and civil rights and racism in America.

  9. Collisa Lankford on

    I am often asked why we study things that happened so long ago and what the connection is for today.

  10. Caitlin Bradford on

    My students are inspired by Rosa Parks’ lifelong commitment to justice. Her legacy is diminished by the narrative that she was just an older woman who was tired to get up as opposed to the committed and brave activist she actually was.

  11. Franklin Oliver on

    My January Term course, Antiracism 101, might be a perfect class for featuring this movie. I also hope to alter my US History course to fit the Civil Rights unit into the streaming window. Thank you for making this available to us.

  12. Jim Ward on

    I will share this as part of my civil rights unit to broaden my students understanding of the life of Rosa Parks.

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