One of the most important figures in the history of the modern civil rights movement, Rosa Parks was a principal figure in the Montgomery Bus Boycott that eventually led to the desegregation of buses in that city. Parks had served as a NAACP organizer prior to her decision to resist bus segregation, and even helped to defend black women who had been victims of rape in a time when the rights of black women were seldom protected by Southern courts.
When Parks refused to accept segregation on a bus in Montgomery, her action set off a series of events that would culminate with an important victory against segregation and the emergence of Martin Luther King Jr. This marker reveals to location of Parks' childhood home and discusses her life in these early years. The house in which Parks grew up no longer stands, but some of the structures that played a role in her child hood still remain.
Born in 1913 to James and Leona McCauley, Rosa Parks was a
sickly child who suffered from constant illness as a child. Her father was a
carpenter and a builder who built structures such as the Henry County Training
School, which is designated by its own historical marker. Her mother, on the
other hand, was a schoolteacher who spent her time raising Rosa after she and
James separated. The future leader then took up with her grandparents in Pine
Level, Alabama, where she began to experience the Mr. Jim Crow and the world of
racism and supremacy.
After marrying Richard Parks at nineteen years old, Rosa,
encouraged by her husband, successfully obtained her high school diploma and
registered to vote. In 1944 Parks returned to her childhood home in Henry
County, but this time she was visiting of official NAACP duty. She was
investigating the rape of a black woman by several local white boys. It was
events in her formidable protesting years like this that would elevate her to
refusing to giver up her seat on a Montgomery bus in 1955.
This monument to Parks’ childhood was
erected in 2006, just one year after she passed away. The Historic
Chattahoochee Commission of Alabama and Georgia, along with the Henry County
Historical group, maintain the marker and the site's preservation.