Recently, in our English lessons we have been learning and writing letters expressing our views about segregation in 1950s America. We wrote a formal letters to President Dwight D Eisenhower who was the president at the time. We used the example of Rosa Parks, an extremely inspirational black woman who stood up against the unfair segregation.
On the 1st December, 63 years ago, whilst you may have been opening your advent calendar, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus. She was sick, tired and angry of all the unfair differences that black people faced and she thought that everyone should be equal and treated fairly. When she gave refused to give up her seat she was arrested and thrown in jail for nine months. During this time riots broke out all across America to end segregation which then led to the civil rights movement.
After being released and changing all of the unfair rules, life still didn't work out for her. She lost her job and so did her husband. We discovered many interesting facts such as; Rosa Parks was close friends with Martin Luther King Jr and that in 1943 a bus driven by James F Blake left Rosa in the rain. This was the same bus driver that was driving twelve years later in 1955. This was the bus driver that made her get up and eventually called the police which led to Rosa’s arrest. In 1999, aged 86 she was recognized for her amazing achievements and was awarded the congressional gold medal.
She has won other awards such as the Spingarn Medal (awarded in 1979) the Golden Plate Award (awarded in 1995) the Presidential Medal of Freedom (awarded in 1996) and the NAACP Image award (awarded in 2000) Rosa Parks died on the 24th October 2005 aged 92. Rosa parks changed the world with just one simple action.
Doctor Who recently ran an episode about Rosa. Watching it was a fun and easy way to learn about Rosa Parks and the segregation in 1950s America. This episode had a very powerful meaning and showed the issues surrounding racism at the time really well. This inspired us to write formal letters to president Eisenhower about the racism and segregation problems. If she hadn’t have done it, who knows what life would be like today!
By Ruby-Anna, James, Ben, Ollie, Georgia, Jos and Harriet, Y9.