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Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks
Usage Conditions Apply
Brian Lanker, 31 Aug 1947 - 13 Mar 2011
Rosa Parks, 4 Feb 1913 - 24 Oct 2005
Gelatin silver print
Image: 70.7 × 71.2 cm (27 13/16 × 28 1/16")
Sheet/Mount: 81 × 75.2 cm (31 7/8 × 29 5/8")
Mat: 88.3 × 87 cm (34 3/4 × 34 1/4")
Frame: 90.8 × 89.5 × 4.4 cm (35 3/4 × 35 1/4 × 1 3/4")
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Rosa Parks: Female
Rosa Parks: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist\Civil rights activist
Rosa Parks: Society and Social Change\Administrator
Rosa Parks: Society and Social Change\Pacifist
Rosa Parks: Crafts and Trades\Textile worker\Seamstress
Rosa Parks: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Rosa Parks: Congressional Gold Medal
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of Lynda Lanker and a museum purchase made possible with generous support from Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Agnes Gund, Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer, Lyndon J. Barrois Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Mark and Cindy Aron
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Brian Lanker Archive
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Tuskegee, Alabama
“When people made up their minds that they wanted to be free and took action, then there was a change. But they couldn’t rest on that change. It has to continue.”
— Rosa Parks
When the moment came on a municipal bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, Rosa Parks was prepared. The seamstress, an active member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, had immersed herself in the principles of nonviolent civil disobedience at Tennessee’s Highlander Folk School the previous summer. When she refused to yield her seat to a white male passenger, she did so not because she was tired but because of her determination to stand her ground in the face of race-based oppression.
Parks’s arrest for violating segregation laws sparked the 382-day bus boycott (spearheaded by Martin Luther King Jr.) that culminated in the Supreme Court ruling bus segregation unconstitutional. Her emergence as a civil rights icon came at the cost of her job, and, in the face of continued death threats, she left Montgomery for Detroit in 1957. For the rest of her life, Parks worked tirelessly for equality.
Nacida en Tuskegee, Alabama
“Cuando la gente decidió que quería ser libre y pasó a la acción, hubo un cambio. Pero no podían detenerse en ese cambio. Hay que continuar.”
—Rosa Parks
Cuando llegó el momento en un autobús municipal de Montgomery, Alabama, en 1955, Rosa Parks estaba preparada. La costurera y miembro activo del capítulo local de la Asociación Nacional para el Progreso de las Personas de Color había estudiado los principios de la desobediencia civil pacífica en la Highlander Folk School de Tennessee el verano anterior. Cuando se negó a ceder su asiento a un pasajero blanco, no lo hizo porque estaba cansada, sino porque estaba decidida a defender su posición ante una práctica de opresión racista.
El arresto de Parks por violar las leyes de segregación provocó un boicot contra los autobuses (liderado por Martin Luther King Jr.) que duró 382 días y culminó cuando el Tribunal Supremo declaró inconstitucional la segregación en los autobuses. La fama de Parks como ícono de los derechos civiles le costó el empleo y, tras continuas amenazas de muerte, se mudó a Detroit en 1957. Parks luchó sin descanso por la igualdad el resto de su vida.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
I Dream a World: Selections from Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women (Part 1)
On View
NPG, North Gallery 220