By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On December 1, 1955, a 42-year-old African American seamstress, Rosa Parks, boarded a Montgomery city bus as she left work. She sat behind the rows reserved for whites; but when those places were occupied, a white man came in and insisted she give up her seat.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Chance For Strong To Severe Storms On Tuesday, Damaging Winds
Rosa, a member of the NAACP, refused spontaneously, was arrested and convicted of violating the laws of segregation, known as the Jim Crow laws. What her action sparked was a boycott, led by a young Baptist minister, Martin Luther King, Jr., lasting 381 days.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Large Group Of Noisy Dirt Bikes, ATVs Take Over Radnor Streets
The following December, the US Supreme Court ruled that segregation laws were unconstitutional and Montgomery buses were integrated.
The boycott began an era of non-violent mass protests supporting civil rights and it is an example in our history of one courageous person making a difference.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite Will Not Seek Contract Renewal After School Year
This December remember Rosa Parks and her resolve as we fight bullies and acts of injustice in our immediate surroundings.