Rosa Parks Viewing Guide

Rosa Parks & Civil Rights Viewing Guide

  1. What were the Jim Crow laws?
  2. What was life like for African Americans under the Jim Crow laws?
  3. What is the meaning of the term, “separate but equal”?
  4. In what ways did the stories Rosa’s grandparents told about slavery affect her?
  5. Why was it so dangerous for Rosa to stand up to the white boy who threatened to hit her?
  6. How did the white teachers at Rosa’s school in Montgomery influence her character?
  7. What did Southern lawmakers do to make it difficult for African Americans to register and vote?
  8. What do you think it felt like for African Americans to ride on segregated buses?
  9. It took both courage and determination for Rosa to remain in her seat after the bus driver ordered her to move. Explain why?
  10. What was Rosa’s explanation for why she decided not to move back in the bus?
  11. Why was Rosa’s decision called the spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement?
  12. What made the Montgomery bus boycott successful? How did it affect the white community?
  13. Why was the boycott so hard on the black community?
  14. What were the landmark legal decisions that made legal segregation a thing of the past?
  15. Why is Rosa Parks considered one of today’s true heroes?

Rosa Parks & Civil Rights Viewing Guide Key

  1. What were the Jim Crow laws?

The Jim Crow laws were passed in the South after the Civil War to discriminate against black people and keep them apart from white people in public places.

  1. What was life like for African Americans under the Jim Crow laws?

Life for African Americans was demeaning under the Jim Crow laws, which promoted segregation of the races.

  1. What is the meaning of the term, “separate but equal”?

“Separate but equal” refers to the doctrine made legal in Plessy v. Ferguson that sanctioned separate facilities for blacks, as long as they were equal to those for whites.

  1. In what ways did the stories Rosa’s grandparents told about slavery affect her?

The stories of Rosa’s grandparents made her realize how much African Americans had suffered in the old days and how they had to protect themselves against the cruelties inflicted upon them by the Klan as well as others.

  1. Why was it so dangerous for Rosa to stand up to the white boy who threatened to hit her?

Rosa’s grandmother told her that it could be dangerous to defend herself against the white boy because in those days a black person could be beaten or killed for standing up to a white person.

  1. How did the white teachers at Rosa’s school in Montgomery influence her character?

They taught her, as did her mother and grandmother, to have dignity and self-respect.

  1. What did Southern lawmakers do to make it difficult for African Americans to register and vote?

Literacy tests and poll taxes were sometimes imposed to make it difficult for African Americans to register and vote.

  1. What do you think it felt like for African Americans to ride on segregated buses?

Riding on segregated buses made African Americans feel like second-class citizens.

  1. It took both courage and determination for Rosa to remain in her seat after the bus driver ordered her to move. Explain why?

Rosa Parks must have worried that the driver might resort to violence or call the police on her, and therefore it took courage and determination to face the situation.

  1. What was Rosa’s explanation for why she decided not to move back in the bus?

She was tired of being pushed around and having to give in.

  1. Why was Rosa’s decision called the spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement?

Rosa’s decision was the spark because the NAACP had wanted to challenge the bus laws for years and her case gave the organization the opportunity.

  1. What made the Montgomery bus boycott successful? How did it affect the white community?

The black community in Montgomery supported the boycott because they resented bus segregation and had enough. The bus company lost money for every day the busses were empty.

  1. Why was the boycott so hard on the black community?

The boycott was hard on the black community because people had to get to work or run their errands by walking, sharing rides, or taking cabs.

  1. What were the landmark legal decisions that made legal segregation a thing of the past?

November 13, 1956, the Court ruled that the law under which rosa Parks had been arrested was unconstitutional. Nine years later President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregation everywhere in America.

  1. Why is Rosa Parks considered one of today’s true heroes?

Rosa Parks is considered a hero because she stood up for her beliefs at great risk to herself and became the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.