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Children March in Alabama

By Win Knowles and Jillian Bibbins,
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
More than a thousand students marched on the Alabama state Capitol December 2, 2005. They marched to honor Rosa Parks, who on December 1, 1955, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus, sparking the modern civil rights movement.

In 1955, city buses in Montgomery were segregated. Blacks had to sit in a separate section of the bus and give up their seat if a white person wanted it. Rosa Parks refused to move because she was "sick and tired" of being treated as a second-class citizen.

After Parks was arrested, Montgomery's black citizens boycotted city buses, refusing to ride on them. The boycott ended 381 days later when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation on city buses is unconstitutional.

"The Children's Walk is a tribute to Rosa Parks's courage and bravery for standing up to segregation and putting an end to it," said Win Knowles, a seventh grader at Montgomery Academy, who marched in the parade. "Parks's bravery teaches kids to stand up for what we believe in and not to let anyone make you feel inferior."

Taylor Turner, a student at Montgomery Academy, also marched in the parade. "It's cool to be part of this event. It is one of the most important things to happen in Alabama." Shiz Ani, a sixth-grader at Baldwin Magnet School, told Scholastic News kid reporter Jillian Bibbins, "Rosa Parks was a person who changed the world."

The Children's Walk ended at the steps of the state Capitol. There civil rights leaders and student speakers urged young people to join the stsruggle for full equality. "Today, we must make a commitment to stand up for our rights by saying 'No, I will not accept what is not right,'" said Courtney Meadows, 12. "We must have enough determination to defeat segregation and racism. For we must not let history repeat itself."