Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks


Giclée print 11’ x 14’ // 27,9 x 35,6 cm
Printed on 300 gsm paper, slightly textured with a chalky smooth cotton feel. 
Signed and numbered.
Includes A5 card detailing Rosa’s extraordinary story.*

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In Alabama — where Rosa grew up — society was rigidly segregated and racism permeated everyday life. Black people could only attend ‘coloured’ schools and libraries, and only drink at ‘coloured’ fountains; they would be served last in shops, and bags would be put inside hats before they could try them on. But Rosa’s mother taught her about equality and justice, and encouraged her to defy racism.

One evening in December 1955, 42-year old Rosa left the department store in Montgomery where she worked as a seamstress. On the bus home, she sat at the back as usual – front seats were reserved for whites. As the bus got busier, the driver told her to give up her seat to allow for a white person to sit. She refused. Why should she give up her seat? She had purchased a ticket just like everyone else.

In that moment, she decided she had had enough of been treated unfairly. So when the driver threatened to call the police, she just replied, “You may do that”, and still she didn’t budge.

Police arrived and arrested her on the spot. She was later found guilty of violating the segregation law and fined. 

Following the incident, the Montgomery branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People — for which she had been volunteering since her 30s — organised a mass bus boycott. They had been trying to take on segregation rules on public transport for years and had been looking for a test case to help them challenge the racist law.

Some 90% of Montgomery’s black citizens participated in the boycott, which lasted 381 days and had national resonance.

In December 1956 the Supreme Court finally ruled that segregation on public buses and transportation was against the law.