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.

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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.

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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.

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This December remember Rosa Parks and her resolve as we fight bullies and acts of injustice in our immediate surroundings.