• Ruth Saw

Jailed for a day, free for her lifetime

Do you know that the civil rights movement was sparked by a lady?

We’ve all heard of Martin Luther King Jr and his famous speech, “I have a dream.” Fewer of us may have heard of the lady who sparked the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks. She was commonly called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. She left a legacy and changed history.

She was 42 years old, had a job as a seamstress and was commuting home on 1 December 1955. She sat in the zone reserved for the black people, but as the bus got crowded the driver asked everyone to move back for the whites. She sat still – that caused her to be thrown into jail – for a day.

It also sparked the African American community to unite days later. Within a year, on 13 November 1956, the Supreme Court removed segregation on public transportation. A quiet lady, she changed history without uttering a word, by following her heart and stepping into her destiny.