Knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Each person must live their life as a model for others.
Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.
There is work to do; that is why I cannot stop or sit still. As long as a child needs help, as long as people are not free, there will be work to do. As long as an elderly person is attacked or in need of support, there is work to do. As long as we have bigotry and crime, we have work to do.
To this day I believe we are here on earth to live, grow, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.
One of my greatest pleasures there was enjoying the smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing and knowing that white folks were doing the preparing instead of me. I was 42 years old, and it was one of the few times in my life up to that point when I did not feel any hostility from white people.
We had a saying that we worked from can to can't, which means working from when you can see (sunup) to when you can't (sundown).
I had decided that I would not go anywhere with a piece of paper in my hand asking white folks for any favors. I had made that decision myself, as an individual.
What I learned best at Miss White's school was that I was a person with dignity and self-respect, and I should not set my sights lower than anybody else just because I was black.
People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
Many whites, even white Southerners told me that even though it may have seemed like the blacks were being freed (by my actions) they felt more free and at ease themselves. They thought that my action didn't just free blacks but them, too.
You cannot always control the powers-that-be. You just have to have faith and stand by the things you believe in.
I am leaving this legacy to all of you...to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die -- the dream of freedom and peace.
We didn't have any civil rights. It was just a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Klan ride at night and hearing a lynching and being afraid the house would burn down.
As long as there is unemployment, war, crime and all things that go to the infliction of man's inhumanity to man, regardless -- there is much to be done, and people need to work together.
My resisting being mistreated on the bus did not begin with that particular arrest…I did a lot of walking in Montgomery.
Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground.
I had been pushed as far as I could stand to be pushed. I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen.
As long as people use tactics to oppress or restrict other people from being free, there is work to be done.
I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress, and tired from the ache in my heart.
I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day.
Since I have always been a strong believer in God, I knew that He was with me, and only He could get me through that next step.
When that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night.
People need to free their minds of racial prejudice and believe in equality for all and freedom regardless of race. It would be a good thing if all people were treated equally and justly and not be discriminated against because of race or religion or anything that makes them different from others.
What really matters is not whether we have problems, but how we go through them. We must keep going on to make it through whatever we are facing.
I thought about Emmett Till, and I could not go back. My legs and feet were not hurting, that is a stereotype. I paid the same fare as others, and I felt violated. I was not going back.
Nothing in the Golden Rule says that others will treat us as we have treated them. It only says that we must treat others in a way that we would want to be treated.
Victory or defeat? It is the slogan of all-powerful militarism in every belligerent nation. And yet, what can victory bring to the proletariat?
If you want to be respected for your actions, then your behavior must be above reproach. If our lives demonstrate that we are peaceful, humble, and trusted, this is recognized by others.
I thought of Emmett Till, and when the bus driver ordered me to move to the back, I just couldn't move.
I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be.
I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.
To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.
I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.
I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.
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 … No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
Whites would accuse you of causing trouble when all you were doing was acting like a normal human being instead of cringing.
I have been refused entrance on the buses because I would not pay my fare at the front and go around to the rear door to enter. That was the custom if the bus was crowded up to the point where the white passengers would start occupying.
It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn't feel like obeying his demand. I was quite tired after spending a full day working.
The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute accepts people of any race. We don't discriminate against anyone. We teach people to reach their highest potential. I set examples by the way I lead my life.
I don't think well of people who are prejudiced against people because of race. The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. We can't force them to think that way.
Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.
There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take... The line between reason and madness grows thinner.
I had felt for a long time that, if I was ever told to get up so a white person could sit, that I would refuse to do so.
Time begins the healing process of wounds cut deeply by oppression. We soothe ourselves with the salve of attempted indifference, accepting the false pattern set up by the horrible restriction of Jim Crow laws.
At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.
I have never been what you would call just an integrationist. I know I've been called that... Integrating that bus wouldn't mean more equality. Even when there was segregation, there was plenty of integration in the South, but it was for the benefit and convenience of the white person, not us.
Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.
Let us look at Jim Crow for the criminal he is and what he has done to one life multiplied millions of times over these United States and the world. He walks us on a tightrope from birth.
I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
As far back as I can remember, I knew there was something wrong with our way of life when people could be mistreated because of the color of their skin.
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... No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.
Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.