Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words

All done! Launched February 4, 2020 and completed March 21, 2020.

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By transcribing Rosa Parks’ papers, you’ll learn about the relationships and events that shaped her lifetime of activism, and her experiences both as an individual, and as an icon of the civil rights movement. Available for transcription are letters to and from her mother, Leona McCauley; letters from her brother, Sylvester; and a poignant letter from her father, James. The largest group of her letters are to her husband, Raymond, in 1957 and 1958, when they had to live apart to find paying work. Raymond and Rosa Parks coped at a distance with the fallout from her bus protest and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa’s letters are loving, compassionate, and nonjudgmental in the relationships that mattered most to her. Also available for transcription are fragmentary writings she created during and after the boycott. Through powerful prose, they reveal a woman who was strong, courageous, clear-eyed, and grounded in her core ethical beliefs, but not immune to pain inflicted by racial discrimination.