A Black Consciousness

Rosa Parks

“Well, in the first place, I had been working all day on the job. I was quite tired after spending a full day working. I handle and work on clothing that white people wear. That didn’t come in my mind but this is what I wanted to know: when and how would we ever determine our rights as human beings? … It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn’t feel like obeying his demand. He called a policeman and I was arrested and placed in jail….” – Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks questioned if black people would ever receive the equality that they were waiting for. Her simple act of disobedience caused a wave of boycotts and violent uproars in Montgomery, Alabama. These persistent boycotts were successful as the segregation on local bus lines was outlawed. These boycotts led to a bigger protest movement in the South. Zinn speaks of a “new black consciousness being born” towards the end of the chapter. This black consciousness was the realization that they could speak out and revolt. They had the right to protest against their discrimination.  The outlaw of segregation was not enough. New uprisings were taking place and being led by activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.