In the 1950s, some of the states in the American south practiced what is called “segregation”. This means that black people and white people were often kept separate. For example, there were areas in restaurants where only white people were permitted to sit. Black and white children also went to separate schools. Many people believed this system was racist and wrong. They formed a group and fought against it. This was called The Civil Rights Movement. An African-American woman named Rosa Parks was part of this movement.
On December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Like all other Montgomery busses, there were seats for white people at the front. Black people were supposed to sit at the back of the bus. When the seats reserved for white people became full, the bus driver told Ms. Parks to give up her seat near the front of the bus so that white people could sit down. She thought this was wrong so she refused to move so the bus driver called the police.
Black people throughout Montgomery heard about Ms. Parks’ arrest. They supported Ms. Parks by boycotting the Montgomery bus company. For many months, the busses in Montgomery were empty. In 1956, the courts decided that segregating busses was against the law. Finally, black people could sit anywhere they wanted on a Montgomery bus. Rosa Parks’ courage was important because it inspired many people to fight against segregation. She will always be remembered as an important part of the Civil Rights Movement.