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Rosa Parks: Compared to Herself

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Social Studies +3

Created in conjunction with participating in the Learning to Look: Summer Teacher Institute [June 2017]

Rosa Parks

With a courageous act of civil disobedience, Rosa Parks sparked a challenge to segregation that culminated in one of the seminal victories of the modern civil rights movement. On December 1, 1955, while traveling on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, the seamstress was arrested for refusing the driver's demand that she surrender her seat to a white male passenger. When Parks was convicted of violating local segregation laws, Montgomery's African American community launched a massive one-day boycott of the city's bus system. The boycott expanded with the help of Martin Luther King Jr. to last 382 days, ending only after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled bus segregation unconstitutional.

How do various art forms effect the way that the viewer interprets different works of art? Some questions to consider are:

  • What are the events occurring in the portrait?
  • Do they make a personal connection?
  • What is the sitter saying in the portrait?
  • What questions does the portrait raise, for future discussions?

#npgteach #npg

The Beginning

Artis Lane

Rosa Parks

National Portrait Gallery

Rosa Parks

National Portrait Gallery


Bryan Hill