Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. On December 1, 1955, she became what many described as "the mother of the civil rights movement," when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus. Her courageous action and resistance inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a seminal event for the cause of freedom.
Parks remained a civil rights activist for the rest of her life. We honor her memory by sharing her inspiring words.
"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear." —Rosa Parks
"Each person must live their life as a model for others." —Rosa Parks
"I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free...so other people would also be free." —Rosa Parks
"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically... No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in." —Rosa Parks
"Memories of our lives, of our works and deeds will continue in others." —Rosa Parks
"The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. We can't force them to think that way." —Rosa Parks
"Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way." —Rosa Parks
"As far back as I can remember, I knew there was something wrong with our way of life when people could be mistreated because of the color of their skin." —Rosa Parks
"Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome." —Rosa Parks
Click on a picture to enjoy more inspiring photos and stories.
Explore the collection of slideshows and discover inspirational quotes, beautiful photos, and powerful stories of hope.