The mother of the civil rights movement. How Rosa Parks was influenced by early beliefs to change a nation and stand up for her rights.

Essay by latin_hottieHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2003

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"Back then we didn't have any civil rights it was just a matter of survival, of existing one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Klan ride at night and hearing a lynching and being afraid the house would burn down" Rosa Parks confessed once at an interview. Parks was an eminently sage woman. She suffered countless attempts to her dignity and inclination to uphold wrongdoing. However, there were a few occasions that encouraged her and built her strong personality: in her childhood, her self-development and her later commitment to racial justice. "You can stand up for your rights by fighting for what you believe in". Rosa said.

Rosa was born in Tuskegee, Alabama to James and Leona McCauley, he was a carpenter who left home when Rosa was two and Leona was a teacher. At age of two they moved to Rosa's grandparents' farm.

At age 11 she enrolled in the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls, a private school founded by liberal-minded white women. The school's philosophy of self-worth was consistent with Leona McCauley's advice to "take advantage of the opportunities, no matter how they were". "What I learned best at Miss White's school", Mrs. Parks wrote on her auto biography, Rosa Parks-My story (1992), "was that I was a person with dignity and self-respect, and I should not set my sights lower than anybody else just because I was black", this happened after she discussed with the teacher and the class, the way she had been taught by her grandfather, that she could do anything she put her mind to. She was brought up with principles on values that influenced in her heroic actions.

"From my upbringing and the Bible I learned people should stand up for rights", She recalled, "Just...