16 Rosa Parks Quotes About Civil Rights - Biography

In 1955 MLK became Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he earned his PhD in theology from Boston University. It was while he attended school in Boston that King met Coretta Scott, who was attending the New England Conservatory of Music nearby. They fell in love and married in June 1953.

In April 1954, Dr. King became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. After about a year, he became the proud father of Yolanda Denise. And then, the bus boycott began.

In his autobiography King writes:

“On December 1, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to move when she was asked to get up and move back by a bus operator. In a quiet, calm, dignified manner, so characteristic of the radiant personality of Mrs. Parks, she refused to move. The result was her arrest.”

“One can never understand the action of Mrs. Parks until one realizes that eventually the cup of endurance runs over, and the human personality cries out, ‘I can’t take it no longer.’ Mrs. Parks’ refusal to move back was her intrepid and courageous affirmation to the world that she had had enough. She was a victim of both the forces of history and the forces of destiny. Mrs. Parks was ideal for the role assigned to her by history. Her character was impeccable and her dedication deep-rooted. All of these traits made her one of the most respected people in the Negro community.” [1]

Thus began the Montgomery bus boycott, a protest campaign against the racial segregation on the public transit system. The campaign lasted from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, when the federal ruling Browder v. Gayle took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws that segregated buses were unconstitutional.

These inspiring words from King:

I have always felt that ultimately along the way of life an individual must stand up and be counted and be willing to face the consequences whatever they are. And if he is filled with fear he cannot do it. My great prayer is always for God to save me from the paralysis of crippling fear because I think when a person lives with the fears of the consequences for his personal life he can never do anything in terms of lifting the whole of humanity and solving many of the social problems which we confront in every age and every generation. [2]


[1] The Autobiography of Martin Luther King – Pages 50, 51

[2] The Autobiography of Martin Luther King – Page 88

This has been Part 50 of the Series A Life Worth Living. Read Part 51 – Courage.