Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist and icon. She famously refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 and sparked the boycott that would eventually lead to the desegregation of the city’s public transportation system.
Parks attended Alabama State College, a historically black college in Montgomery, where she was an active member of the NAACP chapter on campus. As a student, she participated in several protests against segregation—including one where she participated in a sit-in at a local department store—and she became known as an outspoken advocate for racial equality.
In 1955, Parks was one of the key figures in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a mass protest against the city’s segregated bus system. The boycott lasted for over a year and was a major victory for the civil rights movement; it helped to launch Parks into national prominence as an important figure in America’s fight for equal rights for all people regardless of race or ethnicity. After the boycott ended, Parks continued working with other civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., who had also been involved in organizing protests against segregationist laws in Alabama during this time period but whose name became more widely known outside of Alabama after his death.