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And how, as a result of that brave act, in 1956 the Supreme Court ruled segregation on buses was illegal.Of course it felt like we should all be free people and we should have the same rights as other people.
In our Pathways to Freedom Institute and our Institute for Self Development, we take young people on trips and give them opportunities to meet many civil rights leaders. Our second grade classes learned about you from the Scholastic Web site and by reading some biographies as part of our "People Who Make a Difference" unit in social studies.
We teach them to be good citizens and do what they can do to help other people as they become successful themselves. Students then wrote statements telling how they felt about you, and some of their comments are posted below.
I urge children to have a spiritual awareness in their lives. In 1994 a man entered my home and beat and robbed me.
If children work towards a positive goal in life, it will help them be successful when they become adults.
At this point a few white people boarded the bus, and one white man was left standing. He said would I stand up, and I said, "No, I will not." Then he said, "I'll have you arrested." And I told him he could do that. The driver told the police that I would not stand up. One of them picked up my purse, the other picked up my shopping bag. It was the first time I'd had that particular thing happen.
When the driver noticed him standing, he spoke to us (the man and two women across the aisle) and told us to let the man have the seat. The policeman walked down and asked me why I didn't stand up, and I said I didn't think I should stand up. I was determined that I let it be known that I did not want to be treated in this manner.During this monthlong project, students learned how Mrs.Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott by not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955.There are still people who are prejudiced because of race. The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute accepts people of any race. The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. The first school I attended was a small building that went from first to sixth grade. There could be anywhere from 50 to 60 students of all different ages. He evicted me before, because I would not go around to the back door after I was already onto the bus.The evening that I boarded the bus, and noticed that he was the same driver, I decided to get on anyway.People need to free their minds of racial prejudice and believe in equality for all and freedom regardless of race. I attend programs and I participate in the organization that I developed, the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. We need much more education especially those who are narrow-minded. I think it would be a good thing if all people were treated equally and justly and not be discriminated against because of race or religion or anything that makes them different from others. It still exists, but we are not under the legally enforced segregation that we used to be. At the time I was arrested I didn't know how the community would react.I was glad that they did take the action that they did by staying off the bus.