When Rosa Parks refused on the afternoon of Dec. 1, 1955, to give up her bus seat so that a white man could sit, it is unlikely that she fully realized the forces she had set into motion and the controversy that would soon swirl around her.

Biographies

 

Rev. Ralph David Abernathy
Along with Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Ralph Abernathy was among the ministers in Montgomery most vocal against segregated buses and the treatment of blacks in the Capital City.
Claudette Colvin
One of the women who was arrested before Rosa Parks in 1955. On March 2, 1955, she, just as Parks had, openly refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery segregated bus to a white passenger. Her arrest preceded the arrest of Parks by nine months.
Clifford Durr
Clifford Durr was an Alabama lawyer who played an important role in defending activists and others accused of disloyalty during the New Deal and McCarthy eras and represented Rosa Parks in her challenge to the constitutionality of the ordinance requiring the segregation of passengers on buses in Montgomery that launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Edgar Daniel “E.D.” Nixon
Affectionately dubbed as the father of the civil rights movement, Nixon was the head of the Montgomery branch of the Pullman Porters union and president of the local NAACP.
Fred Gray
Gray made history 50 years ago when he successfully argued the U.S. Supreme Court case that led to the desegregation of buses in Montgomery.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
He is one of the most significant leaders in U.S. history and in the modern history of non-violence, and is considered a hero, peacemaker and martyr by many people around the world.
Mary Louise Smith
Famous as one of the women who refused to give up their seats before Rosa Parks. Smith was 18 years old when she was arrested.
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks 
Born Rosa Louise McCauley on Feb. 4, 1913, in Tuskegee to James McCauley, a carpenter, and Leona Edwards McCauley, a teacher.