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Rosa Parks Day 2018: Inspirational Quotes & Sayings

Born Feb. 4, 1913, Rosa Parks is remembered every year on her birthday for her incredible efforts in the Civil Rights Movement. Just days after her death on Oct. 24, 2005, city officials in Montgomery, AL, and Detroit, MI, declared that the front seats of all city buses would sport a black ribbon to memorialize Parks.

Rosa Parks became a household name during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the 1950s, but the civil rights activist actually first made headlines 10 years prior with the case of Recy Taylor. Taylor, a black woman on her way home from church on Sept. 3, 1944, was gang-raped by seven armed men. Taylor’s suffering caught the attention of a secretary in Alabama, one who would later go on to pioneer the “freedom movement.”


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People reacted to Taylor's plight by sending activist and investigator Rosa Parks to Montgomery. Along with other activists and civil rights leaders E. D. Nixon, E. G. Jackson and Rufus A. Lewis, Parks formed the Alabama Committee for Equal Justice of Ms. Recy Taylor. Though Taylor's case was dismissed twice, the committee and the support garnered was a step forward in the civil rights movement.

Parks’ involvement in the Civil Rights Movement made her both revered and despised. As the “first lady of the civil rights,” as she was dubbed by Congress, she led one of the most well-known protests when, on Dec. 1, 1955, Parks refused to move from her seat after being ordered to by the bus driver. Her arrest led to a boycott organized by the Women’s Political Council which became partially responsible for overturning the racial segregation laws in Alabama’s bus transit system.

Rosa Parks didn’t stop with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, however, and found herself intertwined in civil rights and racial equality until her death in 2005. Her role in the Civil Rights Movement and as an inspiration to those that followed has been forever memorialized in the following quotes and sayings.

Rosa Parks’ Inspirational Quotes

“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… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

“Time begins the healing process of wounds cut deeply by oppression. We soothe ourselves with the salve of attempted indifference, accepting the false pattern set up by the horrible restriction of Jim Crow laws.”

“Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.”

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”

“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would also be free.”

“There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take… The line between reason and madness grows thinner.”

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”