Rosa Parks: A Life in American History

ABC-CLIO. (Black History Lives). Jan. 2021. 189p. ISBN 9781440868429. $63. REF
Rosa Parks (1913–2005) is known as the Black woman who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, AL, in 1955. This entry by Mace (history and political science, Cabrini Univ.; In Remembrance of Emmett Till) in the “Black History Lives” series adds to Parks’s legend by taking a scholarly look at her life. He writes that Parks was raised to be strong and independent; her mother and grandparents believed education was important for later success. Mace examines the role of rape culture in Parks’s life, with excerpts from an essay in which she describes surviving an attempted rape. The book covers the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Parks’s refusal to give up her seat, as well as the remainder of her life, before concluding with a powerful chapter entitled “Why Rosa Parks Matters.” A full list of sources, a time line, and a thorough index round out the work. Mace’s research is excellent, and he handles the subject with compassion.
VERDICT Those interested in learning more about Parks and the civil rights movement will find inspiration in this enlightening work.
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