Rosa Parks quotes talks about her experience on a bus that led to her civil rights stand and how it changed her life. The day she was tired physically and mentally was ever etched in her mind and those who saw the scene that day. Due to her stance, she joins a list of activists who have fought for the freedom of blacks and all who are being oppressed. Her decision inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to have a bus boycott.
Rosa Parks is well known for the Montgomery bus boycott that took her freedom for a short time. She is considered “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. Her quotes give many details about how she felt that day and how it inspired her in the choices she made after. Maya Angelou was so inspired by her that she wrote about her in one of her books. Below are some of the quotes from a woman who helped to bring some level of change to her country, however small it may seem.
“I don't think well of people who are prejudiced against people because of race. The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. We can't force them to think that way."
“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others."
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free."
“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."
“Let us look at Jim Crow for the criminal he is and what he has done to one life multiplied millions of times over these United States and the world. He walks us on a tightrope from birth."
“There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take... The line between reason and madness grows thinner."
“All I was doing was trying to get home from work."
“Why do you all push us around?"
“My only concern was to get home after a hard day's work."
“Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way."
“Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again?"
“Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome."
“It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn't feel like obeying his demand. I was quite tired after spending a full day working."
“I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen."
“At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in."
“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."
“I talked and talked of everything I know about the white man's inhuman treatment of the Negro."
“I was born 50 years after slavery, in 1913. I was allowed to read. My mother, who was a teacher, taught me when I was a very young child. The first school I attended was a small building that went from first to sixth grade. There was one teacher for all of the students. There could be anywhere from 50 to 60 students of all different ages."
"I have never been what you would call just an integrationist. I know I've been called that... Integrating that bus wouldn't mean more equality. Even when there was segregation, there was plenty of integration in the South, but it was for the benefit and convenience of the white person, not us."
“The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute accepts people of any race. We don't discriminate against anyone. We teach people to reach their highest potential. I set examples by the way I lead my life."
“God has always given me the strength to say what is right."
“You spend your whole lifetime in your occupation, actually making life clever, easy and convenient for white people. But when you have to get transportation home, you are denied an equal accommodation. Our existence was for the white man's comfort and well-being; we had to accept being deprived of just being human."
"I had felt for a long time that, if I was ever told to get up so a white person could sit, that I would refuse to do so."
“I have been refused entrance on the buses because I would not pay my fare at the front and go around to the rear door to enter. That was the custom if the bus was crowded up to the point where the white passengers would start occupying."
“In it not easy to remain rational and normal mentally in such a setting where, even in our airport in Montgomery, there is a white waiting room... There are restroom facilities for white ladies and colored women, white men and colored men. We stand outside after being served at the same ticket counter instead of sitting on the inside."
“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."
“I believe there is only one race – the human race"
“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right."
“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground."
“I see the energy of young people as a real force for positive change.”
“I will always work for human rights for all people."
“The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world."
“I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress, and tired from the ache in my heart."
“I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move."
“There was an opportunity for me to take a stand."
“I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be."
“Without vision, people perish, and without courage and inspiration dreams die."
Rosa Parks became an inspiration for many in her day including Angela Davis and Martin Luther King Jr. who was himself an activists for the rights of black people. I hope her quotes will motivate and inspire all, that we can conquer those things that seem insurmountable.