Here is the portrait of Rosa Parks: “The woman who stood while sitting”. It represents the purple – powder mauve color of our CASA wool.
Born in Alabama in 1913, Rosa Louise McCauley was the eldest of two children of a carpenter and a schoolteacher. His mother homeschooled him until he was eleven. Then she was taught in a school founded by white families from the North for black children, which was burned twice by the Ku Klux Klan.
She continued her studies at the Alabama State Normal School for Black Teachers. Every morning, she walks to her class – the school bus is then prohibited for black children. The world in which the granddaughter grows up is steeped in racism.
Laws impose strict segregation between whites and blacks in the southern states of the United States. She married Raymond Parks in 1932. He works at the Montgomery branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), for which she will serve as secretary and youth leader after graduating from high school. At the same time, she earns her living as a seamstress.
On December 1, 1955, this young woman participated in the turning point in the history of the United States and triggered the Civil Rights Movement and the abolition of racial segregation in the United States.
James Blake, veteran of the American army and above all driver of bus number 2857 on which Rosa Parks boarded, is very stickler for the rules. He asks the seamstress and three other black passengers to get up to give their seats to the white users. At the time, if a white person wanted to occupy the center ranks, it was up to the black person to push himself, and Rosa Parks was tired. Not physically but morally, from the oppression that millions of blacks in the southern states of the United States suffered on a daily basis. His answer to the driver is clear: “No”.
When he threatened to call the police, Rosa Parks replied: "Just do it." Shortly after, she was arrested and taken to the police station, without knowing that her gesture of resistance would mark History.
She gave her own version of the facts regarding this arrest: “First, I had worked hard all day. I was really tired after this day of work. My job is to make the clothes that white people wear.
It didn't come to mind that way, but that's what I wanted to know: when and how could we assert our rights as human beings? What happened was that the driver asked me something and I didn't feel like obeying him. He called a police officer and I was arrested and imprisoned.”
His act will serve as a trigger and catalyst, and a few days after his arrest, a boycott campaign against the bus company followed, launched by Martin Luther King, a 26-year-old black pastor.
Despite this support, on December 5, 1955, she was fined $15 for public disorder and violation of local laws. But the movement intensified, and for months thousands of people refused to board a bus, walking to work, sharing cars or taking taxis.
Finally, on November 13, 1956, the United States Supreme Court banned racial segregation on buses, making Rosa Parks a hero.
In 1990, Nelson Mandela, just released from prison, visited her in Detroit, where she was then residing.
It was there that she died on October 24, 2005. She was the first woman to rest under the rotunda of the Capitol for two days so that public tributes could be paid to her. In 2013, Barack Obama unveiled his statue in the Capitol Gallery which celebrates major figures in the history of each of the 51 states.