Rosa parks

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Rosa Parks, circa 1950

[Detail] Rosa Parks, circa 1950

On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested when she refused to surrender her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger. The arrest led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a seminal event in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, and was a defining moment in Parks’ long career as an activist.

This gallery showcases a selection of items from the Rosa Parks Collection at the Library of Congress, which is on loan to the Library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. This collection contains thousands of items that document the life, work, and legacy of this civil-rights legend.

For more on the Rosa Parks Collection, visit these two Library of Congress blog posts: Inside the Rosa Parks Collection; Happy Birthday Rosa Parks!

To support students as they analyze these primary sources, use the Library’s primary source analysis tool and teacher’s guides.

  • Rosa Parks, circa 1950. Photograph by ThomasView PDF (291 KB)
  • Early Childhood Incidents and Experiences, ca. 1955-1958. Autograph manuscript.  Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.  (Rosa Parks recounts the desertion of her father, James McCauley, and  growing up in rural Pine Level, Alabama on the farm of maternal grandparents, Sylvester and Rosa Edwards, with her mother and brother,  Leona and Sylvester McCauley.)Early Childhood Incidents and Experiences, ca. 1955-1958. Autograph manuscript. Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. (Rosa Parks recounts the desertion of her father, James McCauley, and growing up in rural Pine Level, Alabama on the farm of maternal grandparents, Sylvester and Rosa Edwards, with her mother and brother, Leona and Sylvester McCauley.)View PDF (1.45 MB)
  • Rosa Parks. [Reflections on her arrest for refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger, December 1, 1955], ca. 1956.  Autograph manuscript.  Rosa Parks Papers.  Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.Rosa Parks. [Reflections on her arrest for refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger, December 1, 1955], ca. 1956. Autograph manuscript. Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.View PDF (734 KB)
  • Montgomery Fair date book with Rosa Parks' notes concerning the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955–1956. Rosa Parks Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of CongressMontgomery Fair date book with Rosa Parks’ notes concerning the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955–1956. Rosa Parks Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.View PDF (886 KB)
  • Notes in which Rosa Parks recounts her arrest after 'the bus incident.' The notes also describe hardships Parks faced during this period in her life including  being 'shunned' by everyone in her workplace.Notes in which Rosa Parks recounts her arrest after “the bus incident.” The notes also describe hardships Parks faced during this period in her life including being “shunned” by everyone in her workplace.View PDF (1.2 MB)
  • Letter in which Rosa Parks returns to work after becoming well known as part of her Civil Rights efforts.  The letter describes the hardships Parks faced during this period in her life, including being “shunned” by everyone in her workplace.Letter in which Rosa Parks returns to work after becoming well known as part of her Civil Rights efforts. The letter describes the hardships Parks faced during this period in her life, including being “shunned” by everyone in her workplace.View PDF (217 KB)
  • [Rosa & Raymond Parks, seated at a banquet table, left side, third and fourth chair, likely at an NAACP branch meeting, Montgomery, Alabama][Rosa & Raymond Parks, seated at a banquet table, left side, third and fourth chair, likely at an NAACP branch meeting, Montgomery, Alabama]View PDF (230 KB)
  • Draft letter to a 'friend' written by Parks describing racial segregation in Montgomery, Ala. Written on Montgomery Fair department store stationery. Parks was let go from her job as an assistant tailor at the store that month.Draft letter to a “friend” written by Parks describing racial segregation in Montgomery, Ala. Written on Montgomery Fair department store stationery. Parks was let go from her job as an assistant tailor at the store that month.View PDF (1.5 MB)
  • Rosa Parks to Leona McCauley (Mother) concerning the execution of Jeremiah Reeves, a black Alabama teenager falsely convicted of raping a white woman, April 7, 1958.  Autograph letter.  Rosa Parks Papers.  Manuscript Division, Library of CongressRosa Parks to Leona McCauley (Mother) concerning the execution of Jeremiah Reeves, a black Alabama teenager falsely convicted of raping a white woman, April 7, 1958. Autograph letter. Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.View PDF (679 KB)
  • NAACP Baltimore Branch flyer advertising a lecture by Rosa Parks at the Sharp Street Methodist Church, September 23, 1956.NAACP Baltimore Branch flyer advertising a lecture by Rosa Parks at the Sharp Street Methodist Church, September 23, 1956.View PDF (380 KB)
  • Rosa Parks recounting a childhood encounter with a white boy who threatened to hit her, ca. 1955-1958.   Autograph manuscript.  Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.Rosa Parks recounting a childhood encounter with a white boy who threatened to hit her, ca. 1955-1958. Autograph manuscript. Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.View PDF (897 KB)
  • Photo showing Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King at Civil Rights related 'training' at Highlander School in Tennessee.  First published by GA Commission on Education; here in Atlanta CourierPhoto showing Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King at Civil Rights related “training” at Highlander School in Tennessee. First published by GA Commission on Education; here in Atlanta Courier.View PDF (990 KB)
  • Black activist Kwame Toure (L) formerly known as Stokley [i.e. Stokely] Carmichael ... at the University of Michigan to discuss civil rights at a forum. Another civil rights leader Roas [i.e. Rosa] Parks (R) has a lighter moment with Toure after a panel discussionBlack activist Kwame Toure (L) formerly known as Stokley [i.e. Stokely] Carmichael … at the University of Michigan to discuss civil rights at a forum. Another civil rights leader Roas [i.e. Rosa] Parks (R) has a lighter moment with Toure after a panel discussion.View PDF (228 KB)
  • Rosa Parks and U.S. Congressman John Conyers Jr., picketing in front of General Motors corporate headquarters, Detroit, MichiganRosa Parks and U.S. Congressman John Conyers Jr., picketing in front of General Motors corporate headquarters, Detroit, Michigan.View PDF (256 KB)
  • Saint Matthew A.M.E. Church service program with Rosa Parks' handwritten notes and prayer, November 26, 1972.  Program with autograph annotations.  Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.Saint Matthew A.M.E. Church service program with Rosa Parks’ handwritten notes and prayer, November 26, 1972. Program with autograph annotations. Rosa Parks Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.View PDF (705 KB)

 ***Date Change*** June General Membership Meeting

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Please note the June General Membership Session has changed from June 18th to June 25th, at 6 pm at the Charles Wright Museum.  The discussion will still be Banking and Small Business Lending Services.  Come on out and learn about the special products lenders have tailored specifically to small business owners.
Also, please register at the eventbrite link:
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Laura Sigmon, Board Secretary
Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce

 

Water Affordability & Safety Hearing TOMORROW

What: Water Affordability & Safety Hearing

Who: Convened by Representatives Sheldon Neeley and Stephanie Chang and joined by other members of the Michigan legislature

When: Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Where: Room 426, Capitol Building, 100 Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933

Representatives Chang and Neeley, along with their Detroit and Flint colleagues in the Michigan legislature, invite community organizations and residents across Michigan to come and testify about issues related to water affordability and safety.

Since January 1, 2013, over 53,000 Detroiters had their water and sewerage abruptly terminated. Around 15,000 homes were not restored to service. There is financial assistance available, but a large number of residents (what is the number) on payment plans are behind on their payments. Last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council visited Detroit to intervene in Detroit’s water crisis, and the Lyda et al v City of Detroit lawsuit, brought by ten Detroit families experiencing water shutoffs, brought national attention to the crisis. We invite residents to participate and share testimony about the affordability, public health, constitutional and human rights aspects of Detroit’s water crisis as well as potential solutions.

In April 2014, the City of Flint switched from the Detroit water system to its own system using the Flint River. Residents discovered that the water they were using in their homes had a strange smell, taste, and appearance. Last year, high e-­‐coli levels forced boil-­‐water advisories, and then residents experienced skin rashes and hair loss. (What else should be added here) We invite residents to participate and share testimony about the safety, public health, and human rights aspects of Flint’s water crisis as well as potential solutions.

Going Strong Still. . .60 Years Long and Climbing!

APRIL 26TH, @3:00pm

Mrs. Althea T. Thomas will be honored for her 60 years of service as Organist of Dexter King Memorial Avenue Baptist  Church, where she started her playing under Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and still plays today.

ALTHEA T THOMAS_tShirt Design

 RESOLUTION

HONORING MUSICIAN AND EDUCATOR ALTHEA THOMPSON THOMAS

 

WHEREAS,            Althea Thompson Thomas was born in Montgomery, Alabama, the youngest of two siblings, sister Gwendolyn Thompson Ligon, to the union of H.O, Thompson and Faustine Hilliard Thompson. Her father, Mr. 0. Thompson, renown in his own right as a composer, choral director and Trombonist, exposed both Althea and Gwendolyn to piano, orchestral and Organ scores as soon as they could walk. Althea began playing the Organ and piano for churches as a pre teen and has continued to do so for more than sixty years. As a musician, organist, mentor, composer, poet, painter, scholar and author, we honor Althea on this day for her many contributions.

WHEREAS,         Althea is the only Organist ever hired by Martin Luther King, Jr., during his historic time as Pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, sixty years ago. She often accompanied the Late Coretta Scott King as she served as soloist, alongside her husband,Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Althea played the Organ through all of the civil rights’ movement. From that organ pit at Dexter, she witnessed the horror on Dr. King’s face as he received word of the Birmingham bombing, which she later commemorated in a painting and poem. From that same organ pit, she also wept at news of the untimely death of Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr, and the homegoing of the late Rosa L. Parks.

WHEREAS,         Althea received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, and her Master’s Degrees from Alabama State University in both Music and Art, and taught at Alabama State University, and in the Montgomery Public School System for many years. She also taught at Lomax Hannon Junior College and participated in many workshops at Alabama State University, The University of Alabama, and others. Althea Thompson Thomas has owned and operated a music studio, House of the Arts and Thompson Legacy Studio, for more than forty years which teaches Art, and Music to children and adults alike. She also sponsors the Musical and Artistic performances of her students at various venues including the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.

WHEREAS,        Althea Thompson Thomas is also a prolific composer of Music, both orchestral and choral. She has composed hundreds of piano scores for Piano pedagogy and for church celebrations. She is the author of several  Bible teaching supplements  and continues to write poetry and prose. She has exhibited her artwork across the county including Durham, North Carolina and Washington,D.C. Most recently, she had a show of her paintings,along with live teaching and narration at the Rosa Parks Library at Troy State University in Montgomery, Alabama.

WHEREAS,         Althea Thompson Thomas is the wife of Wiley Thomas, Jr.,and the mother of six children, seven grandchildren, and one great grandchild. She continues to spread her love of music through them, and in the many, many others that she teaches, daily.  Music is her passion and teaching young and old to perform is her successful life’s work. We celebrate her continued commitment to the cultural Development of all people.

Be It Resolved That,

On this 26th day of April, 2015, that this resolution be spread at length upon the journal of this day to endure a lasting record of respect and appreciation and that a suitable copy be presented to ALTHEA THOMPSON THOMAS as an expression of appreciation for all of her service to the Civil Rights Movement, her quiet courage, love of children and service to the Community and the nation.

 

Elaine E. Steele, Co-founder         Anita Peek, Executive Director