October 28, 2005




Golden Gate Transit Salutes Rosa Parks

Founding Symbol of the Civil Rights Movement

Mrs. Rosa Parks, a black seamstress whose refusal to relinquish her seat on a public transit  bus to a white man in Montgomery, Ala. died October 24, 2005 at her home in Detroit at the age of 92.  For this act of defiance in December 1955, she was arrested, convicted of violating the segregation laws. In response, blacks boycotted Montgomery buses for nearly 13 months, while a successful Supreme Court challenge was mounted to the law that enforced their second-class status on public bus systems.  On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court outlawed segregation on buses and when the court order arrived in Montgomery on December 20, the boycott ended the next day.

That moment on a public transit bus turned a private woman into a symbol in the quest for racial equality. Little did she know she would be dubbed “the mother of the civil rights movement." Parks’ act of civil disobedience on that public transit bus helped prompt the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's.  In refusing to move, she clarified for people far beyond Montgomery the malice and shame inherent in the laws and customs of segregation.

Golden Gate Transit, as a public transit provider, salutes Mrs. Rosa Parks!