Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Parks. On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, leading to a a 13-month boycott of the Montgomery bus system that would help spark the civil rights movement. Today, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Rosa Parks stamp in her honor.
Check out this great Democracy Now special on Parks. Transcript after the jump.
Transcrpt: AMY GOODMAN: A hundred years ago today, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was born. It was February 4th, 1913. On December 1st, 1955, when she was 42 years old, she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was arrested, convicted of violating the state’s segregation laws. Her act of resistance led to a 13-month boycott of the Montgomery bus system that would help spark the modern-day civil rights movement and launch Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We want to go to a clip of Rosa Parks, in her own words. In the midst of the boycott, April 1956, she spoke to Pacifica Radio about the action she took.
ROSA PARKS: I left work on my way home, December 1st, 1955, about 6:00 in the afternoon. I boarded the bus downtown Montgomery on Court Square. As the bus proceeded out of town on the third stop, the white passengers had filled the front of the bus. When I got on the bus, the rear was filled with colored passengers, and they were beginning to stand. The seat I occupied was the first of the seats where the Negro passengers take as they—on this route. The driver noted that the front of the bus was filled with white passengers, and there would be two or three men standing. He looked back and asked that the seat where I had taken, along with three other persons: one in a seat with me and two across the aisle were seated. He demanded the seats that we were occupying. The other passengers there reluctantly gave up their seats. But I refused to do so.
Check out the full transcript here.