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Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) was an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called the "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement."
On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind, but unlike these previous individual actions of civil disobedience, Parks' action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Parks' act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr., helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.