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I Am Rosa Parks

I Am Rosa Parks
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A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 2 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.22

     challenging words:    civil, secretary, shift, buses, shocked, rows, settled, anytime, allow, aboard, attention, been, quickly, cross, move, fight
     content words:    Cleveland Avenue, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Supreme Court

I Am Rosa Parks
By Erin Horner

1     It had been a long day at the department store. I worked as a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama. When my shift ended I made my way to the Montgomery bus stop and waited for the Cleveland Avenue bus. It arrived and I boarded, but not up front like the white folks did. It was expected that my people would board in the back. We weren't supposed to cross paths with the white people. The best seats on this bus, the first ten rows, were reserved for white passengers. I chose a seat in the first black row and settled in for my ride home. I watched the white seats on the bus fill up quickly. That's when the bus driver called back to my row. "Let me have those front seats," he said. I was saddened, but not shocked by his words. Bus drivers were allowed to do that. They could force black people to move and allow white folks to take our seats at anytime. In the minds of many white people, and in the eyes of the law, we were second class citizens. Many people did not think that we deserved equal rights just because our skin was a different color. I did not move. This made the bus driver angry. He told me that I was breaking the law. I didn't care. I was not going to give up my seat. I had worked with the NAACP for years. I knew it was time for my people to be treated better. We deserved equal rights. I hadn't planned on causing a scene when I boarded the bus that afternoon, but now there was no turning back. I was taking a stand (or a seat!) for equal rights!
2     The police came. .....
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