Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus for home. She took a seat in the first of several rows designated for “colored” passengers. But Montgomery bus drivers had adopted the custom of requiring black passengers to give up their seats to white passengers, when no other seats were available. When her bus was full, the driver asked four black passengers to give up their seats. Three complied, but Rosa refused and remained seated. Her refusal to surrender her seat spurred on a citywide boycott and helped launch nationwide efforts to end segregation of public facilities. In 1987, Parks founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. The organization runs “Pathways to Freedom” bus tours, introducing young people to important civil rights and Underground Railroad sites throughout the country.
She also published Rosa Parks: My Story, an autobiography recounting her life in the segregated South, and Quiet Strength which includes her memoirs and focuses on the role that religious faith played throughout her life.