November 29, 1955
Today, on my way home from work, I had to stand on the bus. After I paid my fare, got off the bus to walk around to the back, and got back on, I realized it was already very full. There was barely enough room to stand, let alone sit after my long day at work. There was even a little girl standing because the white folk wouldn't let her sit! I couldn't believe how insensitive they were being, including the bus driver. Of course, the whites on the front of the bus were seated comfortably, all spread out and taking up seats for their important brief cases and whatnot. This isn't the first time I've felt frustrated on the bus. Not only are we forced to sit (or stand) in the back, but we have to pay our fare and then get back off the bus so we don't walk through the white section. As if they're going to catch something from us! I don't understand what makes the white people believe they're better than us blacks, but I'm getting awfully frustrated with them and their superior mindset. Pretty soon, somebody's going to have to do something about the way the busses are working around here. They can call what's going 'separate but equal,' but they aren't fooling me or any of the other black folk. Raymond has been getting fed up also; I feel like that poor man is going to snap if we don't see some changes around here.
Rosa Louise Parks
December 2, 1955
Yesterday, it became too much. I got on another one of them busses after another long day at work. I paid my fare and walked to the back; it was almost second-nature. Luckily, there were seats open in the negro section, so I got to sit down. All us in the back were sitting quietly enjoying the ride and some time to be off our feet. We got to the next stop and a white man got on. The white section was full, but I sure wasn't moving. The bus started to move and I thought he was just going to stand but, sure enough, that bus driver stopped and came marching to the back. He was acting all high and mighty, shouting about being disrespectful and such. He demanded that we get up to give him a seat. And not only one of us, but two would have to get up, because heaven forbid a white man sit next to a negro. The bus driver, still hootin' and hollerin' starts pointing his self-righteous accusing fingers at me, telling me I have to stand up. I'm a little black woman, minding my own business on the bus and he's gonna make me get up so some white man can sit down? I'm sitting in the negro section, what more does this man want? Now, not only are the busses segregated, but this superior creature, the white man, can't even manage to stand on the bus when just two days ago I watched a young black child stand on the bus.
That was the final straw. I was sick and tired of watching my brothers and sisters be treated as if we aren't good enough. For all of time, we've been treated like we're inferior to people based on the color of our skin. I refused. I sat, anchored in that seat and I politely said that I was not getting up. The bus driver nearly turned red with anger, threatening to have me arrested. I told him that would be just fine. He wasn't joking, that bus didn't move until the police arrived and took me right off that bus. I'm proud of my actions and I hope they can make a difference somehow. The whites needed to know that I'm tired of being treated like I'm not an equal, and other blacks need to know that it's okay to stand up for what you believe in. I hope I can instill energy and power in some more people to stand up for our rights.
Rose Louise Parks