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Anniversary of Rosa Parks Arrest

Authored by Nishah Malik
Published on 1st December, 2022 2 min read

Anniversary of Rosa Parks Arrest

An image of Rosa Parks at the police station.

Today (01/12/2022)  marks 67 years since Rosa Parks was arrested. On 1st December 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, after she had refused to give up her bus seat for a white passenger. 1950s America was segregated along racial lines. Parks was arrested for disobeying an Alabama law which required black people to give up their seats to white people if the bus was full.  

Parks' refusal and subsequent arrest sparked a 381 day bus boycott, led by Martin Luther King Jr, in which African Americans refused to ride on busses in Montgomery in protest against the segregated seating rules. The boycott has been regarded as the first large scale demonstration against segregation in the US. The extent of the boycott led to the US Supreme Court banning all segregation on public transport in December 1956; a milestone moment for the civil rights movement. 

“People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day…No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” – Rosa Parks

Parks has been coined as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement”. Even years later it is important to remember and acknowledge Parks’ courageous act in December 1955. Her arrest and the subsequent bus boycott has been viewed as the inciting event which led to federal civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Her bravery not only as a Black person, but as a Black woman in a society where racism was embedded in the law is commendable. 

Authored by Nishah Malik

Nishah Malik

Nishah Malik is Collections Editor at British Online Archives. Nishah gained a Masters in History from the University of Derby in 2020. Her research interests centre around South Asian culture and heritage, as well as the history and experiences of the South Asian diaspora. She also has a keen interest in women's history.

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The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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