Rosa Parks joins NAACP and becomes active in Civil Rights Movement
In December 1943, Parks became active in the Civil Rights Movement, joined the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and was elected volunteer secretary to its president, Edgar Nixon.
Of her position, she later said, "I was the only woman there, and they needed a secretary, and I was too timid to say no." She continued as secretary until 1957. In the 1940s, Parks and her husband were also members of the Voters' League. Sometime soon after 1944, she held a brief job at Maxwell Air Force Base, a federally owned area where racial segregation was not allowed, and rode on an integrated trolley. Speaking to her biographer, Parks noted, "You might just say Maxwell opened my eyes up." Parks also worked as a housekeeper and seamstress for a white couple, Clifford and Virginia Durr. The politically liberal Durrs became her friends and encouraged Parks to attend—and eventually helped sponsor her—at the Highlander Folk School, an education center for workers' rights and racial equality in Monteagle, Tennessee, in the summer of 1955.
The seed planted in Rosa's mind from this insight grew as she did leading her to join the NAACP in December of 1943 and become part of the Civil Rights Movement. She worked as the secretary of the Montgomery chapter, later saying, "I was the only woman there, and they needed a secretary, and I was too timid to say no." It took her 12 years from then to begin her civil disobedience, but no one considered her timid after that.
Raymond Parks's volunteer efforts went toward helping free the defendants in the famous Scottsboro case, in which nine young black men were accused of raping two white women. Rosa Rosa Parks worked as the NAACP chapter's youth adviser. In 1943, when Rosa Rosa Parks actually joined the NAACP, her involvement with the organization became even greater. She worked with the organization's state president, Edgar Daniel Nixon, to mobilize a voter registration drive in Montgomery. That same year, Rosa Parks was elected secretary of the Montgomery branch.
In the early 1950s Rosa Parks found work as a tailor's assistant at a department store, Montgomery Fair. She also had a part-time job as a seamstress for Virginia and Clifford Durr, a white liberal couple; they encouraged Rosa Parks in her civil rights work. Six months before her famous protest, Rosa Parks received a scholarship to attend a workshop on school integration for community leaders. It was held at the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee, and Rosa Parks spent several weeks there.