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Influential Photographs: Rosa Parks sitting in a Montgomery Bus, 1956

March is dedicated to celebrating women and what can be a more fitting tribute to all the strong-willed women of the world than a photo of a role model for women of all ages – Mrs. Rosa Parks.

In celebration of Women’s History Month this March, we’re giving you a fitting tribute to all women who have fought and still continue to fight for something they believe in. Mrs. Rosa Parks pictured here in this photograph with her gaze far into a bus window. At her back is a white man with a blank expression on his face. This photograph tells the story of Mrs. Parks and her arrest for civil disobedience in 1955. It was a staged photo-op by the United Press International that recalled her story.

Image via Iconic Photos

Mrs. Rosa Parks was riding a Montogomery bus one evening in December 1, 1955 when the bus driver demanded for her seat since all seats for the whites were already taken. Mrs. Parks refused to relinquish her seat although there was an Alabama law that demanded all blacks to give way to whites when it comes to riding the public transportation.

Parks’ unintentional protest against civil rights equality led to her arrest. But it also pushed into gear a movement beyond any other. Her legal case became the standpoint in the Supreme Court ruling that the Alabama law that segregated the blacks and the whites in Montogmery buses was illegal. Parks also played a pivotal role in the 381-day bus boycott alongside a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King Jr.

Rosa Parks’ defiance against racial discrimination became an iconic feat and a story worth telling. She was an example of an empowered woman who decided to stand her ground because she believed it was the right thing to do.

All information used in this article were sourced from Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and Iconic Photos.

Our intention with the Influential Photographs columns is not to glorify or demean the subject of the photo. Our intention with this column is to highlight the most influential analogue photographs of history. The photographs we feature are considered icons, for their composition, subject matter, or avant-garde artistic value.

Did you like this post? Here are some more Influential Photographs posts celebrating women:
Influential Photographs: Hellen Keller Guides Her Hand Over U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower’s Face, 1953 by Charles Corte
Influential Photographs: Afghan Girl, 1984 by Steve McCurry
Influential Photographs: Migrant Mother, 1936 by Dorothea Lange
Influential Photographs: Republican militiawoman training on the beach, 1936 by Gerda Taro
Influential Photographs: Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, 1956 by Allan Grant

written by cheeo

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