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Rosa Parks
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    (February 4, 1913-October 24, 2005)
    Arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in the segregated South (December 1, 1955 - Montgomery, AL)
    Details of the incident are inaccurate. She herself said, 'I was not sitting in the front of the bus, as many people have said, and neither was my feet hurting, as many people have said. But...I made up my mind that I would not give in any longer to legally-imposed racial segregation...'
    She had been arrested twelve years earlier for violating another of the city's bus related segregation laws which required African Americans to pay their fares at the front of the bus and then get off and reboard from the rear of the bus. The driver of that bus was the same driver with whom Parks had her confrontation years later.
    She sued the rap duo OutKast for violation of her civil rights when they used her name as the title of a Grammy-winning song on a hit album. She lost the case as a federal judge ruled in favor of the duo citing First Amendment rights.
    Growing up, she said: 'We didn't have any civil rights. It was just a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Ku Klux Klan ride at night and hearing a lynching and being afraid the house would burn down.'
    She received the help of a little known clergyman named Martin Luther King, Jr., calling for a boycott of Montgomery's city-owned bus company. The boycott lasted 382 days and brought worldwide attention. A Supreme Court Decision struck down the Montgomery ordinance under which she had been fined, and outlawed racial segregation on public transportation.
    Afterward, she lost her job and, with her husband and mother, she relocated to Detroit in 1957. In 1965, she joined the staff of U.S. Representative John Conyers of Michigan and worked until her retirement in 1988.
    In 1999, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the highest honor a civilian can receive in the United States.
    Her life story was turned into a made-for-TV movie, 'The Rosa Parks Story,' starring Angela Bassett (February 24, 2002).
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