Early efforts and actions of Rosa Parks have significant implications to the equal rights organizations of today. This paper looks at the actions of Rosa Parks and how they influence the equal rights organizations of today. Rosa Parks was born in 1913 and was raised during era characterized by segregation and black suppression. Black suppression and segregation were considered normal way of life. Her life started from a humble background to a great position such that she could help in fighting for human rights in various ways. Her legacy has contributed much to people’s improvement especially in terms of rights and the lives of African-Americans in the United States. Many organizations have found it worth to keep the legacy of Rosa Parks alive by empowering and educating African Americans. Her urge to fight for the rights of the African-American community as well as empowering them could have been facilitated by her previous experiences and social life. She once worked as a seamstress for white residents in Montgomery. These residents were great supporters of African-Americans and their struggle for equal rights and freedom.
Rosa Parks mainly became an active in the work of civil rights during the 1930’s. She was among the first women to have ever joined the Montgomery National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Roosa, 2013). She contributed much especially when she joined this association. During that time black people were highly discriminated. African Americans could hardly sit wherever they wanted especially when travelling in a bus. It was required that African Americans sat in the black section of a bus specifically the back section. It was also required that when the front section was filled up, some black people would have to give room for the white people who would have just boarded the bus. Sometimes it was very traumatizing to see the bus driver taking off even before a black person from the white section had entered the back section via the back door (Wiley, 1961).
Rosa was caught up in the situation when she was asked by the bus driver together with three black men to shift so as to give more room for white people within the white section. Rosa refused to move but the three men gave way to white people. She was arrested and taken to jail. She was however bailed out that same evening. She had hardly planned for this incidence but she was ready to stand for her rights. Her drive was the attempt to terminate the feeling of being humiliated. This incidence aroused the feeling that her community was unfairly treated. Rosa was hardly the first person to resist giving room for the whites but she had the power to influence other leaders of civil rights in championing their cause. People hardly found fault with her character and therefore she could generate influence to many activists of civil rights (Wiley, 1961). A boycott was organized in which African Americans refused riding the buses until the aspect of facing segregation ended. This happened for more than one year by choosing to walk to work, carpool, or ride in cabs. This incidence marked one of her early influences.
Rosa was influenced by Martin Luther King Jr. as well as other people such as her grandparents, her mother, as well as the society youth. The society was however her greatest influence since she worked hard to better the society. Her influence to the society was facilitated by her great education and much experience in the hardship experienced by other African Americans. He fight for civil right was not through a call for hatred against the whites of even acts of violence. She was ready to initiate a belief that all people are equal and deserve equal treatment despite their perceived differences. She was not the only black American receiving unfair treatment but most other people could hardly stand against unfair treatments. This could be due to their lack of being members to any active groups or associations calling for civil rights and equal rights to all people. Rosa was involved in a group, which had strict goal of achieving equality among all people irrespective of their skin colors. This involvement contributed further to her strength, which is also reflected in equal rights organizations of today (Racial Influence, 2013).
The legacy of black Americans, now African Americans, is today felt through the efforts Rosa Parks among other equal rights activists such as Martin Luther King. Her efforts have contributed to great improvements in the lives of African Americans in the United States today. Due to her struggle and sacrifices to generate a better future for the African Americans in the US, a number of charitable organizations have been influenced in a significant way. Such organizations are today making education and the effort of empowering African American people their key focus. Some of the most involved equal rights organization that empower the black people include the Institute for Black Charities (IBC), the National Black United Federation of Charities (NBUFC), and the United African American Relief Foundation (UAARF) among other organizations (Racial Influence, 2013). These organizations are committed to empower the block people and enhance their civil rights in relation to their economic and social positions as well as their political interests. The IBC is a non-profit organization that provides various services to African Americans who live within poor or underdeveloped communities. Some services provided include generation of funds to support community programs, emergency relief, and more importantly public awareness campaigns. The public awareness involves campaigns directed to inform people about their civil rights and that they have equal rights and opportunities just like their fellow white people (Racial Influence, 2013).
Rosa Parks inspired important message that continues to live as seem in the way equal rights organizations are spreading the same legacy. Her message is today spread through films and books, which also keeps on empowering the blacks and strengthening the idea of equal rights. Books such as “Rosa Parks: My Story,” depicts a Park’s life story. Such a book among other documentations acts as reminders that the freedom enjoyed by African Americans today was achieved through hardships and great sacrifices (Contemporary Black Biography, 2006 ). Her contribution is still promoted in various ways apart from the equal rights organizations of today. People can still learn about her efforts and gain courage to extent the same spirit through many ways. The media industry has been among the leading organization spreading Rosa Park’s efforts and spirit. The Montgomery, Alabama bus incidence is one of the most remarkable incidents, which made Rosa Parks a legend in the fight for civil rights. She had not planned for the incidence but her courage just changed the lives of African Americans (Contemporary Black Biography, 2006 ). Equal rights organizations of today still incorporate such her attitude and motives to call for equal rights. Mostly, such organizations keep her legacy live by empowering African American communities, especially the most disadvantaged in the American society.
- Contemporary Black Biography. ( 2006 ). Rosa Louise Parks. Retrieved from encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Rosa_Louise_Parks.aspx
- Racial Influence. (2013). Rediscovering Black Heritage and Racial History: Charitable Organizations Dedicated to Advancing Black People. Retrieved from blackmayors.org: http://www.blackmayors.org/tag/rosa-parks
- Roosa, J. K. (2013). Rosa Parks. Retrieved from CollegeTermPapers.com: http://www.collegetermpapers.com/TermPapers/American_History/Rosa_Parks.html
- Wiley, M. (1961). NC Civic Education Consortium: The Freedom Rides of 1961. North Carolina: University of North Carolina.