Rosa Parks Narrative



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Rosa Parks Narrative
On Thursday December 1, 1955 at 5:30 p.m., I, Mrs. Rosa Lee McCauley Parks, 42, left my job as a tailor's assistant at the Montgomery Fair Department Store and walked to the Court Square bus stop. I boarded the bus and sat in the "colored" section behind the seats reserved for whites. I sat on the aisle next to a black man. Two black women sat in the seat across the aisle. The bus filled up quickly at the next two stops. By the third stop, the white section was filled, and a white man remained standing at the front. This meant that all four of the passengers in my row would have to move in order for this white man to sit down. According to custom, a black person could not sit in the same row as a white person. The driver, James F. Blake, said that he expected passengers to comply with company policy. He called out, 'All right, you folks, I want those two seats!' No one moved. "Y'all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats!" he said.

The two women across the aisle from me got up and moved. The man next to me got up too. I shifted to let him out, then moved to the window seat. I didn't say anything to Blake. But he said, "Look woman, I told you I wanted that seat. Are you going to stand up"? 'No.' I said. "I'm tired of being treated like a second class citizen." "If you don't stand up, I'm going to have you arrested," Blake warned me. "You can do that," I told him. Blake then parked the bus in front of the Empire Theater and telephoned his supervisor. "Did you warn her, Jim?" his boss asked. "I warned her," Blake said. "Well then, Jim, you do it; you got to exercise your powers and put her off, yuh hear?" Blake called the police, who arrived in a few minutes.



Officers Day and Nixon boarded the bus and Blake pointed to me, telling the officers, "I needed that seat. The other ones stood up." The officers approached me and asked if the driver had asked me to stand. 'Yes,' I said. "Why didn't you stand up?" they asked. I said, "I didn't think I should have to. I paid my fare like everybody else." "Well," said one of the officers, "the law is the law, and you are under arrest." I stood up and the officers took me to the patrol car. They went back to talk to the driver who wanted to press charges against me under Montgomery's bus segregation ordinance. The officers drove me to police headquarters, then to the city jail. I asked to drink from a water fountain but was told that it was for whites only. So I called my husband after the officers completed the paper-work for my arrest. My bond was $100.00. Dr. E.D. Nixon and Clifford and Virginia Durr signed my bond and took me home. On December 5th, the day the boycott started, the court found me guilty and fined me $10.00 plus $4.00 in court costs. The Movement begins!
http://www.black-collegian.com/african/rosaparks.shtml

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