That popular legend is misleading. Parks' defiance of Montgomery's segregation laws was not an isolated incident. It was part of a lifelong crusade to dismantle Jim Crow.
Today, too many would-be movement leaders simply want to be Dr. King or Mrs. Rosa Parks: they want the glory and privilege of leadership without the burdens or sacrifice and sustained hard work. Movements are not built from the top down by powerful leaders but percolate from the bottom up from people who share common grievances.