Rosa Parks dies aged 92

The report was confirmed by a spokeswoman for US Representative
John Conyers.

Born on February 4, 1913 Mrs Rosa Parks has been called the “mother of the civil rights movement”.

When she refused to give up her seat the bus driver had her arrested.

She was tried and convicted of violating a local ordinance.

Her act sparked a citywide boycott of the bus system by blacks that lasted more than a year.

The boycott raised an unknown clergyman named Martin Luther King, Jr, to national prominence and resulted in the US Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation on city buses.

Over the next four decades, she helped make her fellow Americans aware of the history of the civil rights struggle.

This pioneer in the struggle for racial equality is the recipient of innumerable honors, including the Martin Luther King Jr Nonviolent Peace Prize.

She has been described symbol of courage and determination and an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere.

She had been feted in Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

In 1943 she became a member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), and she served as its secretary until 1956.

In 1955, the year of her famous bus incident, Mrs Parks was 42 years old, and was very well respected in the black community.

But long before that day, she fought segregation in her own way.

She walked up the stairs of a building rather than riding in an elevator marked “blacks only.”

She went home thirsty instead of drinking from the “coloured only” water fountain.

And Mrs Parks preferred to walk home from work whenever possible to avoid sitting in the “blacks only” section in the back of the city bus.

After the Bus Boycott, Mrs Parks lost her job and, with her husband and mother, relocated to Detroit in 1957.

In 1965 she joined the staff of US Representative John Conyers of Michigan and worked until her retirement in 1988.

In 1999 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honour, the highest honour a civilian can receive in the United States.

She was still active in the Civil Rights Movement when she died, lending her time to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.

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