Humanitarianism is kindness, benevolence/helpfulness, and sympathy toward others. Humanitarians can inspire others for many reasons. Perhaps they shed light on something that needs or deserves more attention. Perhaps they inspire you to do something in your life that is beneficial to others or even that is helpful or productive in your own life. Whatever the outcome, humanitarians can be inspiring. There are humanitarians that are ranked highly historically.
Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist, author, and humanitarian. Her famous action one day on a bus became a powerful statement and symbol for things that needed to happen and resulting action of the civil rights movement.
Rosa Louise McCauley was born, on a day that has been memorialized, february 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She had a brother. Her parents separated and she moved to Pine Level with her mother. She attended the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery and then a laboratory school set up by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negros. In 1932, Rosa married Raymond Parks. Raymond was a member of the NAACP and encouraged Rosa to further herself and stay informed.
In 1943, Rosa became secretary for the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. On December 1, 1955 Rosa was ordered to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. She refused and was arrested. The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on December 5th. Walking and other means of transportation took black citizens where they needed to go instead of taking buses. The boycott continued for 381 days. Raymond and Rosa moved first to Hampton, Virginia and then to Detroit, Michigan. Rosa helped in the election of John Conyers and then became his congressional office secretary and receptionist. She held this position until she retired in 1988.
In the 1960s, Rosa was active in the Civil Rights Movement. She supported or collaborated with the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Republic of New Afrika, and the Black Panther school in Oakland. In the 1970s, Rosa organized for the freedom of political prisoners. Her husband and brother died in 1977. In the 1980s, Rosa focused on civil rights and educational issues. She founded the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship foundation and later the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. She also served on the Board of Advocates for Planned Parenthood. She published books in 1992 and 1995.
Rosa Parks died at 92 years old in 2005. Her funeral was in Montgomery and then her coffin laid in honor in the rotunda of the US Capitol. Her coffin was then returned to Detroit and soon buried between her husband and mother.
Rosa Parks was honored during her life and memorialized after her death. She received the Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. Places have been named after her, including an asteroid named Rosaparks. Rosa Parks Day is celebrated either on her birthday, February 4, or the day of her arrest, December 1st, depending on the state honoring the day. Be inspired! Have a bright day!