On this day in history, December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks committed an act of resistance and disobedience in a more than necessary push for change. After a long day of work, Parks boarded onto the Cleveland Ave. bus in downtown Montgomery and sat in the colored section of a nearly full bus. Once the whites-only section was filled, standing white passengers demanded the black citizens in the colored to give up their seats. However, Parks refused to do so. Because of this, she was arrested and charged with violation of a segregation law under Montgomery. This infamous act of civil disobedience would have a major impact on the civil-rights movement for years to come.
Of course, this was a significant act of civil disobedience in the era. Nevertheless, Rosa Parks’ contribution to the civil rights movement was much more vast. Parks was an important figure to the civil rights movement prior to this incident, having been a secretary for the NAACP. Additionally, she was also an activist for racial equality and workers’ rights. However, her refusal to offer up her bus seat became her stamp upon the civil rights movement. Shortly to follow, her act of defiance triggered a lasting bus boycott of nearly a year in order to achieve the right to seat wherever one may please.
I, along with Rosa Parks, believe that it is absolutely okay to break the law if it is infringing on human rights. Human rights should be guaranteed for all citizens and people. When a person can’t choose what they want to do within reason, they aren’t allowed humanity. For instance, the government shouldn’t have any interference when a person is choosing a seat on a bus or whom can vote based on the color of their skin. Additionally, Parks exhibited civil disobedience during a peak era of discrimination against African Americans and a time when “Separate But Equal” was the American ideal. However, she, amongst many other influential activists during this time, understood well that everyone deserves basic civil liberties.
Furthermore, laws may become outdated over time and be unsuitable for the needs of the country/state. In that case, the government is causing more harm than good because society evolved with time. The government should also evolve with society since it was an institution created, “Of the people, by the people, and for the people.” For instance, consider the “Separate But Equal” Law and its effects. It quite literally divided the nation by color, creating a civil war issue. African Americans couldn’t attend the same schools, restaurants, churches, etc. Being divided from one another will only lead to fighting within the nation, as seen during the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, these laws and societal standards allowed racism and prejudices to flourish through the nation, but Rosa Parks’ act of disobedience was one step forward in the fight against hatred.
References (aside from textbook)
“Rosa Parks.” Biography.com, A&E Television Networks, 7 Aug. 2017, http://www.biography.com/people/rosa-parks-9433715.
“Rosa Parks.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2017, http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/rosa-parks.