When her parents separated, she moved with her mother to Pine Level, just outside the capital of Montgomery. She grew up on a farm with her maternal grandparents, mother, and younger brother Sylvester.
They all were members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), a century-old independent black denomination founded by free blacks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early nineteenth century.
"I'd see the bus pass every day... But to me, that was a way of life; we had no choice but to accept what was the custom. The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world."
"When that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night."
"Y'all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats."
"The driver wanted us to stand up, the four of us. We didn't move at the beginning, but he says, 'Let me have these seats.' And the other three people moved, but I didn't."
"Why don't you stand up?"
"I don't think I should have to stand up."
"When he saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up, and I said, 'No, I'm not.' And he said, 'Well, if you don't stand up, I'm going to have to call the police and have you arrested.' I said, 'You may do that."
"I would have to know for once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen."
People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
"Why do you push us around?"
"I don't know, but the law's the law, and you're under arrest."
"I only knew that, as I was being arrested, that it was the very last time that I would ever ride in humiliation of this kind..."
"We are...asking every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial ... You can afford to stay out of school for one day. If you work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown-ups, don't ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off the buses Monday."
"My God, look what segregation has put in my hands!"Parks was the ideal plaintiff for a test case against city and state segregation laws, as she was a responsible, mature woman with an excellent reputation. King said that Mrs. Parks was regarded as
"one of the finest citizens of Montgomery—not one of the finest Negro citizens, but one of the finest citizens of Montgomery."Parks was securely married and employed, possessed a quiet and dignified demeanor, and was politically savvy.
"The cause lay deep in the record of similar injustices."He wrote,
Rosa Parks is an extraordinary person because she stood up against racism and stood up for herself. Rosa dreamed of having liberty in her life. [source]"Actually, no one can understand the action of Mrs. Parks unless he realizes that eventually the cup of endurance runs over, and the human personality cries out, 'I can take it no longer."