Rosa Parks, given her humble and gracious disposition, would probably reject the label, "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." With a profound respect for history, she was acutely aware that the movement for human and civil rights existed well before her birth in 1913. She understood that she was part of the ongoing struggle for human progress, which echoed from the days of Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, just 18 years before her birth.
A bit of background: Also in 1895, Booker T. Washington, the "Wizard from Tuskegee," delivered his famous speech, "The Atlanta Compromise," which some considered a surrender to the doctrine of white supremacy. In the following year of 1896, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which decreed the doctrine of "separate but equal," better known as segregation.
This decision, in effect, legally sanctioned that whites belonged to a superior caste, and that Black people were inferior to whites--bordering on "untouch-ability." By this time the promising, Republican-sponsored "big government" Reconstruction program established to aid African people in the transition from slavery to living in a "free" society had failed. And, its failure was largely due to the betrayal of Black people by the then in power Republican Party. After the Civil War, reunification of the white North and the white South …