Rosa Parks


American Civil Rights Pioneer and Activist

Author Quotes

I am 83 years old, and I have come to realize that there is always more in life to learn. I just started taking swimming lessons last year. I ask a lot of questions during my swimming lessons. You can drown yourself with problems if you do not ask questions.

In fact if I had let myself think too deeply about what might happen to me, I might have gotten off the bus. But I chose to remain.

You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.

I believe all of us – young people and adults – should have people we look up to as examples.

It demonstrated how little regard segregationists had for the lives of black people and the lengths they would go to, to keep us in fear.

I did not want to be continually humiliated over something I had no control over. The color of my skin.

It took a lot of courage to be a plaintiff. You could be risking your life.

I didn't want to pay my fare and then go around the back door, because many times, even if you did that, you might not get on the bus at all. They'd probably shut the door, drive off, and leave you standing there.

It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn't feel like obeying his demand. I was quite tired after spending a full day working.

I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day, but I don't think there is anything such as complete happiness. It pains me that there is still a lot of Klan activity and racism. I think when you say you're happy, you have everything that you need and everything that you want, and nothing more to wish for. I haven't reached that stage yet.

It was time for someone to stand up – or in my case, sit down. I refused to move.

I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress, and tired from the ache in my heart.

Life should not be taken for granted.

I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving in.

Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.

I had no idea when I refused to give up my seat on that Montgomery bus that my small action would help put an end to the segregation laws in the South. I only knew that I was tired of being pushed around.

My only concern was to get home after a hard day's work.

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

All I was doing was trying to get home from work.

I knew I was sitting in the right seat.

Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.

Arrest me for sitting on a bus? You may do that.

I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.

People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

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American Civil Rights Pioneer and Activist