P.S. 254 - The Rosa Parks Magnet School for Leadership Development & The Arts

Rosa Parks (1913 - 2005) was a civil rights activist and leader for most of her life. She was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her father was a stonemason and carpenter and her mother was a teacher. After her parents separated, she moved to a farm in Pine Level, Alabama and lived with her mother, sibling, and grandparents. There, she and her family lived under constant threat by the Ku Klux Klan and went to a segregated school. Jim Crow laws made racism and white supremacy a part of her daily life. Rosa attended school through most of 11th grade but was forced to leave after a family illness.

When she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to white passengers, Parks inspired the Montgomery bus boycott and, thus, the civil rights movement in the U.S. Though not the first Black person to refuse to give up their seat, the established activist had the backing of the Montgomery NAACP chapter as the chapter's secretary. The chapter president helped her appeal the arrest. They brought the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, who deemed racial bus segregation unconstitutional.