Why is Rosa Parks an American hero?


Quick Answer

Rosa Parks is regarded as an American hero because she was at the forefront of the eventual dissolution of segregation laws in the United States. She did this by resisting unjust laws of the time that were designed to promote inequality for African Americans.

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Full Answer

Rosa Parks is most famous for an event on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus in 1955, where she refused to adhere to the Jim Crow laws. She was required to give up her seat on the bus for a white man. She was arrested and convicted, but a boycott of the city buses ensued. This year-long boycott was led by Dr. Martin Luther King.

The boycotts ended, but not before some backlash from an angry white population on Montgomery that resulted in some violence. Eventually, the segregation laws were challenged in the Supreme Court, which ruled that segregation was unconstitutional on Nov. 13, 1956.

After ongoing harassment over the bus boycotts, Parks moved in 1965 to Detroit, Michigan. She became an administrative aide in Congressman John Conyers' office, where she worked for over 30 years. In her old age, she traveled and still supported civil rights movements. Parks wrote an autobiography. In 1999, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. She died at age 92 on Oct. 24, 2005.

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