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Women In Society

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Women have the power to change society and shape history. One woman who stands out in my mind is the late Mrs. Rosa Parks. She had the courage to refuse in a nonviolent way that in turn influenced thousands.

Rosa wanted to make life better for her and her fellow African Americans. Their mistreatment was not right and she had had enough of it. She had tried to register to vote but was turned down solely because of her skin color. In an interview done in 1996, Rosa recalls humiliating experiences, "I didn't want to pay my fare and then go around to the back door, because many times, even if you did that, you might not get on the bus at all. They'd probably shut the door and drive off leaving you standing there." She had many run-ins with bus drivers and was forced to get off.

When she refused to move for a white man Rosa was arrested and tried. There was a 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery in her defense. The Supreme Court's ruling on November 1956, that segregation on transportation was unconstitutional and that was the start of the equal rights for all. Rosa Parks didn't just help African Americans, but helped pave the road for women's rights as well. When she refused to give up her seat it was a nonviolent protest. She just simply said "no".

Throughout her life she has strived to make a difference in the world. She and other members of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development have a special program called the Pathway to Freedom. Children in this program travel across the country tracing the Underground Railroad, visiting the scenes of critical events in the civil rights movements and learning more about America's history. She is a role model to people all across the world, that great things can come from a single action, wither it be small or great. Rosa is firm in her belief that if enough people will have the courage and dedication to make this country better,



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