Rosa Parks

Questions for Reflection

1) Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus on December 1, 1955. Do you think the fact that her bus driver that day had previously driven off without her, leaving her in the rain, had anything to do with her decision not to give up her seat?                                                                                                                                                                                                              
2) When recalling her courageous decision, Rosa Parks says she, "felt a determination cover [her] body like a quilt on a winter night." How do you think the fact that other African American women in Montgomery had previously been arrested for refusing to give up their seats influenced Rosa Parks' decision?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
3)  When Rosa Parks took her seat on the Cleveland Avenue bus on December 1, 1955, she was not initially sitting in the "white" section of the bus. As the bus filled up with white passengers, the bus driver moved the "colored" sign behind Rosa Parks. Do you think the fact that her act of resistance was passive, rather than active, should have affected her arrest? Why?                                                                                           
4) Women Who Shaped America Theme Question: In which ways did Rosa Parks change America? Do you think these changes would have occurred without her actions?
Rosa Parks was once again fingerprinted on February 22, 1956 as part of a 73-person roundup of leaders and participants of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Picture of Rosa Parks at the Ceremony Receiving the Congressional Gold Medal (June 15, 1999)

Page 2 of Rosa Parks' Police Report (December 1, 1955)