House Representative

Rose, Toni

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/01/2021

STATE REPRESENTATIVE TONI ROSE COMMEMORATES THE FIRST OBSERVATION OF ROSA PARKS DAY

AUSTIN, TX Today, State Representative Toni Rose (D-110) marks December 1, 2021 as the first observation of Rosa Parks Day in the state of Texas.

"An American activist in the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks was called 'the first lady of civil rights' and 'the mother of the freedom movement' by the United States Congress. The actions and bravery that dismantled Montgomery's bus system both engulfed the nation and lead to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," Representative Rose said.

On December 1, 1955, during her ride home from work, Rosa Parks sat on the first row designated for "colored" passengers on the Cleveland Avenue bus. During the time, African Americans were allowed to ride in the back half of public transportation busses but were to vacate any seats necessary to accommodate Anglo passengers.

To enforce this rule, the Montgomery City Code allowed bus drivers the powers of a police officer in executing the city ordinance which called for separate but equal public spaces. On December 1, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to an Anglo passenger and was arrested.

African American leaders across the county announced a bus boycott just three days later, on Sunday, December 4th. The next day, 40,000 African American bus riders, some 75% of the Montgomery Bus ridership, began a boycott that lasted 381 days. On December 20, 1956, Montgomery's officials were ordered to desegregate the bus system after the United States Supreme Court ruled the Alabama segregation law unconstitutional.

On this day, December 1, Rosa Parks set ablaze a fire that would engulf the City of Montgomery, the State of Alabama, and all of the United States of America.

"A simple and courageous act for equality changed America. I authored HB 3481 designating December 1st as Rosa Parks Day to honor her incredible act of heroism that ignited the movement which brought America closer to a more perfect union," said Representative Rose.