The early 1900’s were a rough time for blacks in Montgomery, Alabama, and all over the world for that matter. Segregation had become a natural way of life in many states, but especially Alabama. Blacks were tormented, seperated, and always second best. Until one woman’s innocent soul, had finally had it. The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement was that one innocent soul. Rosa refused to give up her rightfully earned seat on the bus, because she decided she would not be pushed around and discriminated against any longer.
Being a black in Montgomery, Alabama was how most experienced being mistreated on a daily basis. It was just a matter of survival…of existing from one day to the next(Abbey,2006). Yes, black and whites were segregated and they received completely different treatment compared to each other. They very rarely received any type of attention compared to white people, and they were always second best. Second to receive, second to know, and second to earn, no matter what the situation was. Even the good things in life came with a catch. They gave more than they got in return and it all went to the whites. Blacks in Rosas life time did not live a life, they survived. They earned just enough to keep from starvation, to put clothes on their backs, and to put roofs over their heads. They were trashed and shamed just because of the color of their skin. Their lives were no lives at all, they were just dead weights, that became heavier as time passed by. Yet Rosa survived, she kept up and remembered she would one day be treated equally.
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Rosa’s fire to be treated equally was sparked at a very young age. Growing up, blacks worked in fields for small amounts of pay, basically lived in shacks, ate in seperate restraunts than whites, and could never drink for the whites water fountain. She witnessed beatings of black men by the Ku Klux Klan. She witnessed buildings being set a flame, and would watch as they burned and fell to ashes. She never could sleep at night due to the fear of her own home being burnt while she was asleep. Rosa, had had enough even as a child, and she knew the difference between what she was getting and what she deserved.
Rosa lived with her maternal grandparents for the majority of her life. She had a very close relationship with her grandfather, and followed in his foot steps. He encouraged her rebellion towards being treated unfairly. He taught her to stand up for herself and never let someone treat you a certain way that you know you do not deserve. He is the reason she stood up for herself that day on the bus. Rosa’s grandfather planted the small seed of fire in Rosa’s heart,
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