Rosa Parks, who worked as a field hand, took care of her younger
brother, and cleaned classrooms for tuition in her childhood,
worked as a seamstress, office clerk, and domestic as an adult.
Rosa Parks became involved in civil rights activity as well,
serving as secretary of the Montgomery, Alabama, NAACP chapter.
On December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks was riding a bus home from
her job, the bus filled up, and she was expected to relinquish her
seat for a white man. She refused, was arrested for violating
Alabama's segregation laws. The black community mobilized a boycott
of the bus system which lasted for 381 days and resulted in the
ending of segregation on Montgomery's buses.
The boycott also brought national attention to the civil rights
cause and to a young minister, the Rev. Martin Luther King, jr.
Rosa Parks continued her commitment to civil rights until her
death, willingly serving as a symbol of the civil rights struggle.
Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005, at her Detroit home of natural
causes. She was 92.