Rosa Parks, quiet and unassuming

Rosa Parks, who was born 100 years ago this year, was a quiet, unassuming 42-year-old seamstress when she refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man.

“Though legend would have it that Parks, who died in 2005, refused because her feet were tired, the truth, she always said, was that it was not her body that was fatigued,” wrote Leonard Pitts Jr. in a column in the February 4, 2013, issue of the Dallas Morning News.

“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in,” Parks once said.

She was tired of “a system that judged her, as a black woman, unworthy of a seat on a public bus,” Pitts explains.

By keeping her seat, she stood up for her rights.

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