Rosa Parks made history nearly six decades ago when she refused to vacate her seat on an Alabama bus to allow a white man to sit, and her seemingly small act of civil disobedience became a major moment in black history in America — one that will now be honored by buses in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Rosa Parks was arrested that night, when after a long day of work, she refused to vacate her seat on a Montgomery bus for a white man. Parks, who died in 2005, explained that the driver ordered her to move under threat of arrest and she said:
“The driver wanted us to stand up, the four of us. We didn’t move at the beginning, but he says, ‘Let me have these seats.’ And the other three people moved, but I didn’t.”
Speaking of her historical act of defiance, Rosa Parks later recalled:
“When that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night.”
Rosa Parks’ small decision that evening became a watershed moment in the civil rights movement, one that is being honored on the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority’s buses. TBO.com explains that the plaques honoring Parks’ bravery and influence were revealed just ahead of the December 1 anniversary of her act:
“The plaques were unveiled Friday – a day before Rosa Parks Day – during a reopening ceremony for HART’s Yukon Transfer Center… The plaques are dedicated to Parks’ legacy and the ‘It All Started on a Bus’ campaign, which pays tribute to the important role transit played during the civil rights movement, HART said in a news release.”
In honor of Parks, the museum that bears her name in the city in which a subsequent and history-making boycott of the Montgomery Bus system will offer free admission the the Rosa Parks Museum tomorrow.