02/04/2014 02:30 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2014

Happy 101st Birthday, Rosa Parks

Today, we honor and celebrate Rosa Parks on what would have been her 101st birthday.

"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day... No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

Rosa Parks is known as the "mother of the civil rights movement" for her role in sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott after she refused to give up her seat to a white man.

Although many thought it was spur of the moment, she was carefully selected by local civil rights leaders. Her upstanding reputation in the community made her a viable symbol making it easier to use her arrest to mobilize the community. Still, her decision to take part took courage and sacrifice. Even Nelson Mandela considered her a hero. Upon his release from prison, he told her "You sustained me while I was in prison all those years."

Parks passed away in 2005 at the age of 92, but before she passed, at an event celebrating her life in 1998, she shared her thoughts on how far we'd come since the days of Jim Crow.

"Racism is still with us," she told a reporter. "But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome."

rosa parks quote


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