Called to the Mall: Rosa Parks: A Brave Black Woman

By Mykia Plummer, 9 years old

There is a statue of Mrs. Rosa Parks in Washington, D.C.

Why?

She was a brave leader. She knew it was time to stand up for Black people’s civil rights. In 1955 there was segregation. It was the law back in her time, from when she was born in 1913. This was a very NEGATIVE law and don’t let anyone tell you that it was good. White people could get in the front of the Black  people on the bus or they would always be first in line in stores. Schools were segregated, and that was rude and disrespectful too.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks paid her fare and went  in the back door. Then Rosa Parks sat down in the middle of the bus. She sat next to someone she knew in the middle neutral  section of the bus. Anyone could sit in the neutral section. The bus got crowded. The bus driver told her she had to get up so a white man could sit down. She said “No.” Everyone looked ather. James Blake, the driver, said “I’m calling the police on you.”

As she sat there she thought about her mother and grandmother and thought how they would want her to stay strong. So she did. Rosa Parks stayed in her seat. She would not move,  she decided.

Rosa Parks illustration by Mykia Plummer
Rosa Parks illustration by Mykia Plummer

The driver called the police. Then she was arrested and fingerprinted for breaking the segregation law in Alabama.

The Women’s Political Council of Montgomery called a boycott; they told people “Do not ride the bus!” Then the busses were empty. Black people walked instead of riding the bus. And they kept on walking. The people walked for over a year. Finally the Supreme Court of the U.S. said people could sit anywhere they wanted on the bus. They won the civil rights lawsuit!

That boycott started the civil rights movement. Later on Rosa Parks and her husband Raymond Parks kept working for years for civil rights. She died on October 24 in 2005 in Detroit.

So that is why there is an impressive statue to her inside the Capitol on the National Mall. But there could be more about her and what she did. They tell the story of Rosa Parks in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is important to me and I love to tell her story.

• Called to the Mall: An Anthology of Stories about the National Mall was a project to teach children how to be active citizens in a democracy. It was created September 25, 2017 by Shining Stars Montessori Academy Public Charter School and sponsored by the National Mall Coalition, of Washington, D.C.

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