This year marks the 55th anniversary of a prominent act of civil disobedience that led to a powerful social movement and fight for African-Americans.
Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955. She was a seamstress in an era when Blacks were still recognized as inferior “others,” subjugated peoples whose cultural history had been choked, chained, and broken by imperialism, colonialism and slavery. In 1955, the American South still relied on the theme of “separate and equal,” where Whites took ownership and were privileged with nicer conditions and social spaces, while Blacks were subject to leftovers, weathered housing, and unequal amenities.
Parks was required to sit in the back of the bus where Blacks were supposed to sit—but she believed otherwise, that Blacks were individuals too, that they also had claims to the same inalienable rights procured for them under the U.S. constitutions.
Google celebrates this historic day through its logo, which features a diverse group of children getting off a bus. Parks resilience led to the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott and a series of non-violent protests for civil rights. The U.S. Congress regards Parks as “the first lady of civil rights” and the “mother of the freedom movement.”
Born in 1913, Rosa Parks recently passed away in October of 2005.