On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, because she refused to give up her bus seat to another passenger. The other passenger was white and Parks was black. In 1955, the law in Alabama required African Americans to give up their seats to whites if the bus was full. Many reports say Parks was tired after a long day of work, a characterization Parks herself denied: “People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day . . . No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
 
The African-American community in Montgomery, led by local ministers Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr., responded to Parks’ arrest by organizing a remarkable year-long bus boycott.
 
In December 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court banned all segregation on public transportation. In 1999, the U.S. Congress recognized Parks as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”
civil rights movement
Noun

(~1954-1968) process to establish equal rights for all people in the United States, focusing on the rights of African Americans.

community
Noun

group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.

Congress
Noun

legislative branch of the government, responsible for making laws. The U.S. Congress has two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

minister
Noun

the leader of an area of government. In the U.S., ministers are called secretaries.

Montgomery Bus Boycott
Noun

(December 1, 1955December 20, 1956) protest to end discrimination on city buses that took the form of people in Montgomery, Alabama, refusing to ride buses until African Americans were given equal rights to seating.

public transportation
Noun

methods of movement that are available to all community members for a fee, and which follow a fixed route and schedule: buses, subways, trains and ferries.

remarkable
Adjective

unusual and dramatic.

segregation
Noun

separation.

Supreme Court
Noun

highest judicial authority on issues of national or constitutional importance in the U.S.

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