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  • Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    Activist Rosa Parks

    Civil rights activist Rosa Parks dies at the age of 92. From AP via Common Dreams:

    DETROIT - Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died Monday evening.

    She was 92. Parks died at her home during the evening of natural causes, with close friends by her side, said Gregory Reed, an attorney who represented her for the past 15 years. Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955 that was to change the course of American history and earn her the title "mother of the civil rights movement."

    At that time, Jim Crow laws in place since the post-Civil War Reconstruction required separation of the races in buses, restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South, while legally sanctioned racial discrimination kept blacks out of many jobs and neighbourhoods in the North.

    The Montgomery, Ala., seamstress, an active member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was riding on a city bus Dec. 1, 1955, when a white man demanded her seat.

    Parks refused, despite rules requiring blacks to yield their seats to whites. Two black Montgomery women had been arrested earlier that year on the same charge, but Parks was jailed. She also was fined $14 US.

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