Rosa Parks, affectionatelly called, "The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement", was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913. Her life was unspectacular for an African American born and raised in the segregated south. She suffered the indignities of the south while working to overcome them as a member of the Montgomery Alabama NAACP.
On December 1, 1955, she refused to give up her seat to a white man. The bus driver insisted that she give up her seat or go to jail, and her choice of going to jail served as the spark for what would become the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Her act of civil disobedience to the unjust laws of segregation gave rise to the end of discrimination in Montgomery and ultimately throughout the South. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. served as leader of the Montgomery Boycott. It gave rise to the Civil Rights movement that changed America.
Ms. Parks died on October 24, 2005. One hundred years after her birth a monument to her life and contribution to the Civil Rights Movement was dedicated by President Obama by unveiling her statue in a permanent place in the U.S. Capitol. President Barack Obama praised Parks as an enduring reminder of what true leadership requires, ''no matter how humble or lofty our positions."
"We do well by placing a statue of her here," Obama said. "But we can do no greater honor to her memory than to carry forward the power of her principle and a courage born of conviction."
Rosa Parks became the first black woman to be depicted in a full-length statue in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.
A bust of another black woman, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, sits in the Capital Visitors Center. She joins Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as the only African American male to have a monument on the Capital Mall.