Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to vacate a row of seats in the “colored” section so that a white passenger could sit down. Her actions led to a lengthy court case and a boycott of buses by the black community that lasted for more than a year.
Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the civil rights movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation, and organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders.
Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act. She was fired from her job, and received death threats for years afterwards. Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she lived until her death in 2005.