“I didn’t want to pay my fare and then go around the back door, because many times, even if you did that, you might not get on the bus at all. They’d probably shut the door, drive off, and leave you standing there” — Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks is describing her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, which sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In this quote, she is explaining that even if black passengers paid their fare at the front of the bus, they were often made to disembark and reboard through the back door.
However, bus drivers would sometimes drive off before black passengers could make it to the back, effectively refusing them passage even after they had paid. Parks did not want to subject herself to this discriminatory and degrading treatment, which is why she refused to give up her seat that day and initiated the boycott.
#RosaParksDay December 1, 1955 was the day she refused to give up her seat to move to the back of the bus as African Americans were required to do then. She was arrested for her refusal, sparking a 381 day long bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama – which almost bankrupted the bus company. The action led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring the Alabama law which required segregated buses to be unconstitutional.
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