Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was born on February 4, 1913 and became an activist for the NAACP in 1943.

Twelve years later, in 1955, Rosa was taking a bus in Montgomery, Alabama when the bus driver found his way back to where she was sitting, took down the ‘colored section’ sign, and told her to vacate her seat to a white person who was without a seat. All that did was make her more determined to stay where she was.

The other three African-Americans who were sitting did get up but Rosa sat firm. After more badgering from the bus driver, Rosa did move...but just closer to the window, not to a different seat. “Do you want me to call the police?” the driver asked. Rosa replied, “You may do that.” According to her autobiography My Story, she says “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, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

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After her arrest, it was decided in November 1956 that bus segregation is unconstitutional. Although somewhat famous by now, she was fired from her job and kept getting death threats.

During the remainder of the 1950s, she moved to Detroit and lived with her husband on the first floor of a split-level house on Virginia Park Street from 1961-1988.

As for the other house, it is not her childhood home as some believe. It was referred to as 'The Rosa Parks House' which was built in 1936 at  672 S. Deacon Street in South West Detroit. The house was actually owned by her brother; Rosa moved in and lived there in the late 1950s with a total of 16 family members sharing the space. After she moved out, her brother eventually abandoned the house and left it to deteriorate. In 2014, Rosa’s niece Rhea bought the house for $500 and hoped to restore it.

She sold the house to artist Ryan Mendoza who restored it to its deteriorated look and put it up for auction.  The gallery below shows images of both Detroit houses where Rosa lived.

Detroit Homes of Rosa Parks


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