When Rosa Parks was asked in an interview why she refused to give up her seat to a white person in the segregated bus, she responded;
“I had had enough and this was truly the end of being pushed around.”
The iconic civil rights activist is famously known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The boycott was started by black people to protest the policy that required them to sit in the back of the bus, something they considered demeaning. The policy also allowed the driver of the bus to ask black people to stand up for white passengers to sit.
After a long day at work, Rosa Parks got on a bus and sat with three other people in the back. A white passenger got on the bus only to discover that all the seats in the white section were taken. The driver was then forced to ask the black people to get up to create space for the white passengers. The other three agreed but Rosa Parks refused.
Rosa Parks was arrested for this move and was later charged with violating segregation laws. She was given a suspended sentence and fined $10 plus $4 in court costs. The news of her arrest provided the momentum for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was so effective that it gained the attention of the nation.
In 1956, the bus segregation law was deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, providing a much-needed victory to the Civil Rights Movement.
Here’s a transcript of her explaining why she refused to give up her seat in an interview:
“So far as I can remember, during my lifetime, I resisted the idea of being mistreated and pushed around because of my race, and I felt that all people should be free regardless of their colour. And when the driver demanded that we give up this seat, I felt that the time had come to not take it anymore. I had had enough and this was truly the end of being pushed around.”
Watch the video below the audio of the entire interview:
— #becauseofthemwecan (@Becauseofthem) February 4, 2019