TEACHER’S GUIDE INTRODUCTION Rosa Parks is best known for her refusal to give up her seat to a white man

on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955. Her action galvanized the growing Civil Rights Movement and led to the successful Montgomery bus boycott. But even before her defiant act and the resulting boycott, Ms. Parks was dedicated to racial justice and equality. She remained a source of inspiration and, most importantly, an activist for the remainder of her life. MATERIALS NEEDED The audio version or text of Linda Gorham’s story, Rosa Parks: One of Many Who Sat Down to Stand Up (There are slight differences between the written text and the spoken version of this story. It is preferable to listen to the story, using the text as a way to remember story details while working in class. The MP3 track and the text are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use only.) Highly recommended – become familiar with some of the resources mentioned below. PURPOSE In this lesson plan, your students will: • • • Become more familiar with the Rosa Parks’ story Place Ms. Parks’ protest within the larger context of her supportive family and community and the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s Examine the motives and practices of bigotry and institutional racism
© 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools, which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. This lesson plan may be freely used, reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www.LindaGorham.com) are used with permission. Info: www.racebridgesforschools.com

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com) are used with permission. Alabama writes to the mayor of Montgomery to warn of the possibility of a bus boycott. the United States and other nations Connect past events to present realities A BRIEF TIMELINE OF THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT May 21. Oct. 1954 Martin Luther King Jr. © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. 1955 African American Claudette Colvin. some standardized goals this lesson plan covers are: Social Science Learning Standards • • • • Understand political systems. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. March 2. trends. This lesson plan may be freely used. 15. Info: www. 18. becomes pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. individuals and movements shaping the history of the state. president of the Women’s Political Council made up of black citizens of Montgomery.racebridgesforschools. 21. 1955 African American Mary Louise Smith.ROSA PARKS • Experience a recreation of some of the feelings.com 2 . is arrested after allegedly violating bus segregation laws. with an emphasis on the United States Understand events. challenges and decisions facing people in this country as they lived in a system of legalized segregation and discrimination Understand the extent of the bravery of those who stood up to discrimination given the ignorance and violence of the times. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. • STANDARDS OF LEARNING While School Standards differ from state to state. with an emphasis on the United States Understand social systems.LindaGorham. 1954 Professor Jo Ann Robinson. Sept. 1. is arrested after allegedly violating bus segregation laws.

Dec. as their president.” March 28. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. is bombed. But the Montgomery mayor declares that city bus segregation will continue and the police threaten to arrest bus drivers who disobey segregation laws. Gray. © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. 1. Feb.ROSA PARKS Dec. April 24.com) are used with permission. That night King’s house is bombed with his wife and their infant daughter inside. Martin Luther King Jr. 1956 A class-action lawsuit is filed challenging the constitutionality of laws requiring segregation on buses. No one is injured. An angry group of Blacks.LindaGorham. A one-day boycott of city buses results in about 90 percent of regular black riders staying off the buses. 1956 A National Deliverance Day of Prayer to support the bus boycott takes place with several cities outside the South taking part. 5. but King calms the crowd by speaking to them from his porch of peace and “friendship” with Whites. Aug. 1956 The home of Lutheran minister Robert Graetz. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. a white member of the MIA board. The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) is formed by black leaders who elect the Rev. Rosa Parks helps with the clean up. 1955 Rosa Parks is convicted and fined in Montgomery city court. This lesson plan may be freely used. some of them armed. 1956 A White Citizens Council rally in Montgomery is packed with thousands who applaud city officials for fighting bus desegregation and talk about teaching Blacks “a lesson.racebridgesforschools. 10.com 3 . She is charged with disorderly conduct. 1956 Bus companies in more than a dozen Southern cities stop the practice of segregated seating in response to the Supreme Court decision. Several thousand black citizens attend the first MIA mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church. appears ready to react with violence. 1956 At the urging of attorney Fred D. 30. where they overwhelmingly support continuing the bus boycott. but they are not injured. Info: www. 25. Feb. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. the executive board of the MIA votes to support the filing of the federal lawsuit to challenge city and state bus segregation laws. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. 1. Jan. 1955 Rosa Parks is arrested after allegedly violating bus segregation laws.

ROSA PARKS Dec. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www.com/timeline. This lesson plan may be freely used. 17. The bus company resumes full service.racebridgesforschools.montgomeryboycott.com) are used with permission. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools.htm © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. Gayle decision to desegregate public transportation. Dec.LindaGorham. Info: www. For a more complete timeline. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. including the violence and continued challenges that followed the bus desegregation go to: http://www. 1956 The U. 21.S.com 4 . Supreme Court rejects the Montgomery City Commission’s appeal of the Browder v. 1956 Black citizens desegregate Montgomery buses after the 381-day boycott.

Parks refused. 15. people of color got on the front of the bus to deposit their fare. Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. in 1943 in Montgomery.LindaGorham. This lesson plan may be freely used.com. Linda Gorham is a Chicago-based storyteller. many people refused to give up their seats before December 1. they had to get off the bus and walk to the back door of the bus to enter the bus again and sit in the back rows. 12 years before Rosa Parks’ famous incident she herself had refused to exit a bus when ordered to by the bus driver. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www.Claudette Colvin. In fact. Then.” and folktales – updated with “attitude. and Mary Louise Smith. Why? Were there other people who refused to give up their seats before Rosa Parks? COMMENT: Yes. Info: www. She tours internationally and is known for personal tales. 5 © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. 18. In debriefing the Rosa Parks’ story: COMMENTS = examples of remarks you might make to your students QUESTIONS = the type of discussion questions to ask THE STORY QUESTION: Rosa Parks has been called the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. Perhaps four women are best known – Aurelia Browder. Two of those plaintiffs were teenagers . Susie McDonald.ROSA PARKS LESSON PLAN YOUR STORYTELLER This lesson plan and student handout are meant to be used in conjunction with the audio download and text of this excerpt from Linda Gorham’s longer story.com . This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools.com) are used with permission. Find out more at: www. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. Alabama’s segregated public transportation system and led to the Supreme Court case that struck down segregation on buses.racebridgesforschools. Back then. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Mary Louise Smith and Claudette Colvin – because it was their legal case that challenged the Montgomery.” Linda has programs for all ages. 1955 when Ms.LindaGorham. stories of African American Heroes called “I Shape Freedom.

com 6 . Board of Education decision in 1954. (Some reports translated too tired into “too lazy”) © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. Parks mentioned that she was coming home from work the day of her action and that she was “tired.com) are used with permission. Parks simply slid over to the window seat. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. and the Brown vs. However. not that she was making some kind of statement. Rosa put her money in the till and then walked down the aisle of the bus to the back section marked “Colored. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Parks’ unquestionable character and calm demeanor.racebridgesforschools.ROSA PARKS One day. Interestingly enough. Martin Luther King Jr. It turns out this was the very same man who was driving the bus that day in December 1955 when Ms. The bus driver demanded that the African Americans in the first two seats in the “Colored” section move. People were able to say as a group “enough is enough” and the many previous individual acts of bravery snowballed into a movement of hundreds of thousands. The bus driver stormed down the aisle. it was this very same driver who drove the bus when Rosa Parks mounted the bus steps and sat in the front seat for the very first time as cameras rolled and the passengers applauded. when Rosa Parks made her stand in 1955 many forces intersected at the same moment – including Dr. becoming a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. ACTIVITIES: Have students do reports on lesser-known contributors to the Civil Rights Movement. This lesson plan may be freely used. after the Supreme Court decision of 1956 that ended segregation. When the man next to her complied and moved further back in the bus. students could write essays about why they think this person should be included in their history books. Many people had defied segregation since its inception as they had sabotaged the system of slavery and other forms of discrimination in the past. Ms. She exited but did not get back on through the back door. in an interview right after her arrest. She let the bus leave without her as she swore to never ride with that driver again. but the bus was crowded. Rosa Parks’ act of courage led to the Montgomery bus boycott that led to the eventual Supreme Court decision to use the 1954 Brown vs.” The bus driver charged after her and raised his hand to hit her. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. Ms. Education verdict that “separate is not equal” as precedent to rule segregated public transportation unconstitutional in 1956. For example. Still.LindaGorham. Instead. For instance. he ordered Ms. yelled at Rosa and threatened arrest. Ms. Parks off the bus. Info: www. Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man. Parks was sitting in the “Colored” section. Ms. Have students investigate some of the ways stories of the Civil Rights Movement have been misunderstood or manipulated. Rosa refused to move.” Some have misconstrued this statement and reported that she only refused to get up because she was tired. That’s when Rosa recognized the driver.

Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. sit in the same restaurants or walk on the same sidewalk as Whites. Went to football practice. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities.racebridgesforschools. “I walked by Maple’s Candy Store and looked into the window. Info: www. go into a store and buy a hammer or an ice cream sundae.ROSA PARKS QUESTIONS: Why would these stories of racial struggle be twisted or not known and even missing from our history books? Whose account gets the most airtime or winds up in the history books? THE TIMES COMMENT: Perhaps one of the most famous images of Jim Crow segregation is the separate water fountains – one marked “Whites Only” and one marked “Colored. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. A simple listing will do: “Went to the grocery store. Under Jim Crow laws. focus on their empathetic feelings. Bought a cookie at Maples’s. Went to class. Some of their descriptions may not be completely accurate as to what life in the South (and in the North) was like during legalize segregation but.com) are used with permission. for now. people of color couldn’t go to the park. I really wanted to buy a piece of fudge but I knew I couldn’t go in. For example. have them imagine that Jim Crow segregation was still in force and they are part of the group who is treated as outsiders. Stopped for a burger at Shelly’s Drive-In.com 7 . try on clothes in a department store. I swear they’re giving us the meat that’s starting to go bad. depend on the police force to protect them and. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact.” Then. Have them rewrite a more detailed journal entry as if they couldn’t participate in the activities from the previous days.” Have the students imagine they are being treated as second-class citizens at every turn and fill out their scenarios. Drove down Main Street.LindaGorham. of course. ride at the front of the bus.” But the separation and discrimination was much more widespread than where and how people got their water. EXERCISE: Ask students to keep a diary of their daily activities for several days.” Or “Went to get a hamburger at Shelly’s Drive-In and had to go to the separate window for my group. This lesson plan may be freely used.

com) are used with permission. Info: www.LindaGorham. They would take back their power. QUESTIONS: Was life better or worse in the North? How were people welcomed and how were they treated? How were peoples’ lives similar or different as they moved to northern states? THE RISKS COMMENT: Jim Crow segregation and the climate of hate during the 1950’s in America wasn’t just about what you couldn’t do. When the boycott continued and some Whites began to figure out that this “uprising” wasn’t going away. transportation. This lesson plan may be freely used.” After that the threats turned to more deliberate and violent actions. but what could be done to you. Parks saying that they would “teach her a lesson. beatings and even death at the hands of the police who were supposed to serve them. Black people regularly experienced harassment.racebridgesforschools. judicial. driving patterns and such? Does it feel as if things are equal? How would you feel if this were your real life? What would you want to do about it? ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES: Have students do a report on how their scenarios are accurate or inaccurate descriptions of life under Jim Crow laws. Parks was fired from her job as a seamstress. as well as schools and transportation. they would show those Blacks who thought they were better than the Whites. they called a rally at the Alabama Coliseum and pledged that “mighty whitey” would rise again.ROSA PARKS QUESTIONS: What does it feel like to have separate stores. Have student compare segregation “down South” and “up North. Look into all institutions of daily life – medical. schools. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Speakers at this rally openly threatened Ms. Gangs of Whites rode through Black © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools.” Have students report on the great migration as people of color fled southern segregation for the North and the economic base of the South changed from sharecropping and other manual farm labor to engine-driven farming. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. law enforcement.com 8 . reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. Ms. housing. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools.

As African Americans rode into the white business district or neighborhoods to work. pitchforks and even guns. families or neighbors. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. were the victims and the ones being treated unfairly? Many Whites thought things were unfair in this country and supported the Civil Rights Movement yet were afraid to say so to their own spouses. King’s. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools.ROSA PARKS neighborhoods spewing hate and racial slurs. Parks received repeated death threats. QUESTIONS: If someone bombed your house or the home of someone you knew and admired. raised his hands and addressed the crowd. do you think you could have gone against segregation and supported the movement? COMMENT: When Dr. King’s home was bombed in January of 1956. would your thoughts turn to violence? Do you think you could take the non-violent path as Dr. King arrived home.racebridgesforschools.com) are used with permission. QUESTIONS: Given this climate of violence would you have had the courage to do what Rosa Parks and the other people of the movement did? What do you think the white people who resisted the Civil Rights Movement were thinking and feeling? Why did they resist the changes? What were they afraid of? What did they perceive they would lose? How did they explain to themselves that they. Ms. When have you felt afraid to share your beliefs? What is peer pressure and why do we bow to it? If you were white back then. confirmed that his wife and child were safe and then stood out on his front porch.LindaGorham. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Info: www. The Ku Klux Klan marched through a Black housing project and set crosses on fire and some of the buildings as well. Several people’s homes were bombed including Dr.com 9 . they were greeted by flying bricks and even balloons filled with urine. not African Americans. He said that all the people who had boycotted the buses and walked to work all those days would have “walked in vain” if the movement gave into violence. This lesson plan may be freely used. hundreds of people stood outside his home with baseball bats. King and the movement did that night? What does it mean to be the “conscience of the country” and was this tactic effective? © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. Dr. He called for “Peace” and talked about reaching out “in friendship” to Whites and being the conscience of the country.

ROSA PARKS THE SUPPORT COMMENT: While it is important to celebrate the courage of people like Rosa Parks.Lawyers came forward to defend Ms. At breakfast tables.com 10 . Black people bolstered each other’s spirits and spread the word through song.LindaGorham. The lone Black radio station bravely made announcements about meetings and fundraisers. on those long walks into town. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. Info: www. while preparing dinner or tucking young ones into bed. Parks herself said she was inspired to take the action she did because she had previously gone to an integrated civil rights meeting and had seen Blacks and Whites working together for justice for everyone and holding to their beliefs that America could live up to its democratic ideals.Funeral directors picked up people in their hearses to give them rides to work (Remember. People held bake sales and yard sales to raise money for the movement. a ground swell of thousands of people coming together each doing their part. they had to walk miles and miles to get to work. Others donated used bicycles so people could ride to work and school. White pastors offered their churches for meetings and rallies. QUESTIONS: Would you have been one of the people involved in the movement? How would you have helped? What role do you think you’d have played? © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. because the neighborhoods were segregated and many African Americans only found employment in white neighborhoods. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. . which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. White people were involved in the boycott as well. Young people walked through the night passing out thousands of fliers to announce the bus boycott.racebridgesforschools. took their cars without telling their families and picked up people who needed rides.com) are used with permission. it’s also essential to recognize that the Civil Rights Movement was a movement. sermon and whispered affirmation: “You deserve to be treated as a full human being and citizen! You are as good as anyone else! You are somebody!” - Ms. . This lesson plan may be freely used. Parks. White people from other parts of the country came to Alabama to march alongside African Americans. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. No hero ever acts alone. White housewives snuck out of their houses.) Thousands chipped in what little money they had to buy station wagons to haul people.

com 11 .TeachingTolerance.com) are used with permission. CONCLUSION In 1955. The bravery and idealism shown by Rosa Parks and all the participants of the Civil Rights Movement is one of the greatest American stories of discipline.org (Highly recommended . This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. Info: www. RESOURCES: Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks . Students write and perform a piece as Linda Gorham did in her story – imagining the life of that person and telling about the person’s challenges and victories in the first person.LindaGorham. Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery. Rigoberta Menchu (promoter of indigenous rights in Guatemala and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize). which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. The boycott lasted 381 days and ultimately led to an end to segregation on public transportation throughout the United States. available through www. This lesson plan may be freely used. in a simple act of defiance. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. Fannie Lou Hamer (voting rights activist and civil rights leader).ROSA PARKS What if your parents were afraid for you and asked you to stay home during the meetings.a film by Hudson & Houston produced by Teaching Tolerance and Tell the Truth Pictures.000 African Americans.racebridgesforschools. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. Alabama and sparked a boycott of Montgomery’s buses by the city’s 55. determination and triumph.Teachers can order the video with viewer’s guide for free) © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. Wilma Mankiller (first female chief of the Cherokee Nation) etc. boycotts and marches? Do you think you could have worked things out with them? Have you ever been involved in an activity where you felt you were part of something bigger than yourself? How did it feel? How can the support of a community lead us to do things we never thought we could do? Is this positive peer pressure or something else? Is there some way you’d like to see the world change for the better? What issues of our time are you drawn to? In what way– small or large – could you play a role to make a positive difference? ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES: Have your student pick another community leader such as Caesar Chavez (Mexican American labor leader and civil right activist).

available through www. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools.org Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders . Info: www. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. This lesson plan may be freely used.a Women Make Movies production.teachingforchange.org Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching: A Resource Guide for Classrooms and Communities Co-published by Teaching For Change and Poverty & Race Research Action Council.ROSA PARKS Freedom Song . available through www. Loewen and published by Simon & Schuster Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist.WIMM. lessons and more resources.org (type “Rosa Parks” or “Civil Rights Movement” in the search window) For guidance on teaching Black History go to: http://www.org For free downloadable quizzes. visit: www.a Warner Video.tolerance.org and www.com 12 .teachingforrchange. Multicultural Education and Staff Development published by Teaching for Change. available through www.racebridgesforschools. available through www.teachingforchange. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www.org/activity/dos-and-donts-teaching-black-history © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools.com Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W.teachingtolerance.com) are used with permission. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities.LindaGorham.civilrightsteaching.

© 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. If the white section got full. there was a system of laws called “Separate but Equal. in the United States. separate water fountains.ROSA PARKS STUDENT HANDOUT Story Transcript Note: While the transcripts of the stories follow the main narrative points and meaning of the stories as they are spoken by the storyteller.” Those laws kept the races separate and treated African Americans as second class citizens. This lesson plan may be freely used. separate schools and more. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. The front rows of the buses were reserved for white people.racebridgesforschools. there are some differences between the written text below and the spoken versions. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. It was written to commemorate many of the accomplishments African Americans made in this country during the 1950’s and 1960’s.com 13 . Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. These words come from a song called “From the Back of the Bus” by Charles Neblett. African Americans were forced to sit on the back. Storytelling is a living art and changes from telling to telling. for 68 years. It was nothing close to equal! Especially on the buses. This text is a guide. the African Americans would be forced to get up and give the standing white people their seats. It was clearly separate. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. Info: www.LindaGorham. You see. separate playgrounds.com) are used with permission. Separate neighborhoods. _________________________________________________________________ ROSA PARKS By Linda Gorham If you miss me on the back of the bus And you can’t find me nowhere Come on up to the front of the bus Cause I’ll be riding up there. Among them was the simple right to sit anywhere on a public bus.

This is her story. I had prepared for that moment for a long time. “This could be the day. This lesson plan may be freely used.” I was ready.” It took nine months. I made a personal vow.com) are used with permission. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. • • • • Her determination stood up. I was tired. The newspapers wrote that I was just a seamstress. And let me tell you. I was tired of being pushed around. Each time I told myself. 1955 to be exact. give up that seat. I was proud of her. I too deserve respect.com 14 .racebridgesforschools. December 1. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. I decided that I was not going to give up my seat ever again. I am a seamstress – actually a tailor. Her inner spirit and soul stood up. so that Rosa Parks could make the difficult decision to remain sitting down. Tired of disrespect for children. I’m Rosa Parks. The news reports said I was tired and that’s why I didn’t give up my seat.” It was just last December. Each time I sat in the first Negro row waiting and wondering. I rode those buses to work every morning and I rode them home every evening – five days a week – four weeks a month.” Humph! Seems to me equality only applies if you are white. I asked him. Claudette was brave.” You know. All whose crimes went unpunished even when all the evidence clearly pointed toward the ones who did it. Her dignity stood up. but the law is the law and you are under arrest. All victims of white hatred. lynched. Tired of being oppressed. He said. in Montgomery. And when the policeman came. “Make it light on yourself. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www. It’s an organization of good people. I have never been a lazy woman. In December of that year. “Why do you push us around?” I remember his words exactly. Negro and white. Well. When that bus driver walked back toward me waving his hands and yelling. We call it the NAACP. You see. Rosa Parks refused. But I’m also a volunteer secretary for the Montgomery. Alabama chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Now. Well. like I was lazy. Info: www. Her commitment to ending bus segregation stood up. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. Alabama. I too am an American. Tired of Jim Crow segregation laws. After one of those NAACP meetings when we discussed what happened to her. I learned a lot. working to change the laws. working on that job. Tired. There wasn’t a meeting that went by when we didn’t talk all of the people who were mistreated on buses. women and men just because of the color of their skin. my soul was. “I don’t know. and murdered. Claudette Colvin didn’t give up her seat. But yes. I alter clothes to make them fit people nice.ROSA PARKS But this system began to change in 1955. Well.LindaGorham. the United States is supposed to be the “land of equality. I’m also the NAACP youth leader. 42 year old Rosa Parks was ordered to STAND and give up her seat on a bus to a white man. I work downtown at the Montgomery Fair Department Store. When that 15 year old girl. my feet were not tired.

Right then I wrapped my determination around my body like a quilt on a winter night. they led off the bus. I remained silent all the way to City Hall.LindaGorham. This lesson plan may be freely used. This lesson plan is part of an initiative for educators called RaceBridges For Schools. but it was worth it. There were 17. © 2010 RaceBridges For Schools. Story excerpts copyrighted by Linda Gorham (www.ROSA PARKS When that day came.000 Negros who rode the buses each day. “Why didn’t you stand up when the driver spoke to you? I did not answer. Through all kinds of weather. anywhere we pleased. That was over ¾ of the riders. After my arrest. As they were driving me to the City Hall. That bus boycott lasted more than a year. Finally. Getting around wasn’t easy. those who were silent – well they all put aside their fear and their silence and they said enough is enough. any trolley. It was not easy. When we boycotted. “Until the laws change. and escorted to the squad car. the United States Supreme Court declared segregation on ALL public transportation was illegal. We walked because we believed what we were doing was important. after a year of walking. Alabama stopped riding the buses. The second one picked up my shopping bag. reproduced and distributed for educational purposes as long as this copyright information is displayed intact. The NAACP set up 300 scheduled car pools. just recently. I was ready.racebridgesforschools. we won’t ride the buses. one of them asked me. I have to tell you. Some walked more than an hour and a half each way to work. They arrested me. In the car they returned my personal belongings to me. almost all Negros in Montgomery. the NAACP called for a boycott of the buses to protest. Those who were scared. One policeman picked up my purse. we walked. it still amazes me that it took so long for such a basic right to be granted to Negros. He waved his hand and ordered me to get up. I felt protected from all the meanness of every white driver I’d seen through the years who had been ugly to me and all the other Negro people. And the boycott wasn’t just one day or one week. those who gave up. That white bus driver walked back toward me.com 15 .com) are used with permission. the bus company lost so much money they had to close down many of their routes. And a few days after my arrest. Alabama walked for 381 days so that ALL Negros in the United States of America could sit on any train. 381 days. and any bus. but mostly we walked. The did not put their hands on me or force me into the car. The police came. But at least I know that the Negro people of Montgomery. which seeks to provide tools for teachers and students to motivate them to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Info: www.

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