49 Powerful Rosa Parks Quotes about Civil Rights Equality & Racism

Famous Rosa Parks Quote

In this post we’ll read Rosa Parks quotes who was an African American civil rights activist that became an iconic figure in the fight against racial segregation and discrimination.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a 381-day campaign during which African Americans refused to ride city buses in protest of segregation laws.

The boycott, organized by civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., was a significant victory in the struggle against racial segregation and led to the desegregation of Montgomery’s public transportation system.

Let’s read some of the most famous Rosa Parks quotes about racism, civil rights equality and her details about the bus incident.

Famous Rosa Parks Quotes

Famous Rosa Parks Quote

1. “All I was doing was trying to get home from work.”

2. “Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.”

3. “I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.”

4. “Even when there was segregation there was plenty of integration in the South, but it was for the benefit and convenience of the white person, not us.”

5. “An opportunity was being given to me to do what I had asked of others.”

6. “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.”

7. “There is no future without education.”

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

Rosa Parks Quotes about the Bus Boycott

Rosa Parks Quote about the Bus Boycott

1. “The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world.”

2. “I was arrested on December 1st, 1955 for refusing to stand up on the order of the bus driver, after the white seats had been occupied in the front. And of course, I was not in the front of the bus as many people have written and spoken that I was — that I got on the bus and took the front seat, but I did not. I took a seat that was just back of where the white people were sitting, in fact, the last seat. A man was next to the window, and I took an aisle seat and there were two women across. We went on undisturbed until about the second or third stop when some white people boarded the bus and left one man standing. And when the driver noticed him standing, he told us to stand up and let him have those seats. He referred to them as front seats. And when the other three people — after some hesitancy — stood up, he wanted to know if I was going to stand up, and I was not. And he told me he would have me arrested. And I told him he may do that. And of course, he did.”

3. “I did not want to be mistreated, I did not want to be deprived of a seat that I had paid for. It was just time… there was an opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner. I had not planned to get arrested. I had plenty to do without having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn’t hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became.”

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

5. “At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.”

6. “When that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night.”

Rosa Parks Quotes about Equality & Civil Rights

Rosa Parks Quote about Equality & Civil Rights

1. “We didn’t have any civil rights. It was just a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Klan ride at night and hearing a lynching and being afraid the house would burn down.”

2. “It is better to teach or live equality and love… than to have hatred and prejudice.”

3. “Differences of race, nationality or religion should not be used to deny any human being citizenship rights or privileges.”

4. “It is better to protest than to accept injustice.”

Rosa Parks Quotes about Racism

Rosa Parks Quote about Racism

1. “I believe there is only one race — The Human Race.”

2. “Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.”

3. “As far back as I can remember, I knew there was something wrong with our way of life when people could be mistreated because of the color of their skin.”

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

5. “I don’t think well of people who are prejudiced against people because of race. The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. We can’t force them to think that way.”

6. “There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take… The line between reason and madness grows thinner.”

Rosa Parks Quotes about Change

Rosa Parks Quote about Change

1. “To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.”

2. “I see the energy of young people as a real force for positive change.”

3. “One person can change the world.”

4. “When people made up their minds that they wanted to be free and took action, then there was a change.”

5. “There were times when it would have been easy to fall apart or to go in the opposite direction, but somehow I felt that if I took one more step, someone would come along to join me.”

Inspirational Rosa Park Quotes

Inspirational Rosa Park Quote

1. “Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

2. “What really matters is not whether we have problems, but whether we go through them. We must keep going on to make it through whatever we are facing.”

3. “I try to not think of those things that we cannot control, but I think if we continue to work with positive attitudes, conditions will be better for more people.”

4. “I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be.”

5. “Nothing in the Golden Rule says that others will treat us as we have treated them. It only says that we must treat others in a way that we would want to be treated.”

6. “If I stayed angry at other people, I would miss finding friends among those I was angry with.”

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

8. “Life is to be lived to its fullest so that death is just another chapter. Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”

Rosa Parks Quotes about Freedom

Rosa Parks Quote about Freedom

1. “Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.”

2. “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.”

3. “I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.”

4. “I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.”

Rosa Parks Quotes about Courage

Rosa Parks Quote about Courage

1. “Without a vision the people perish, but without courage dreams die.”

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

3. “God has always given me the strength to say what is right.”

4. “From the time I was a child, I tried to protest against disrespectful treatment.”

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

6. “I was ready to die but give my consent never. Never, never.”

7. “Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”

These Rosa Parks quotes reflect her stance on racism and her courageous act of resistance made her an iconic figure in the civil rights movement and earned her widespread admiration and recognition.

She became known as the “mother of the civil rights movement” and received numerous awards and honors for her activism, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Parks continued to be involved in civil rights activism throughout her life, advocating for racial equality, voting rights, and social justice.

Which of these Rosa Parks quotes left an impact on you?

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