February 2015



Nikki Giovanni

Rosa L. Parks is a famous figure in American history. On December 1, 1955, she got on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus after work and refused to give her seat to a white man, an act that sparked a revolution. Suddenly, Mrs. Parks was at the center of the battle for civil rights in America. This is the story of a woman whose quiet determination changed history.


  1. Nikki Giovanni wrote Rosa to highlight a famous figure in American history, but Giovanni is also an influential leader herself. Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 7, 1943, and she gained fame in the late 1960s for her work in the American Civil Rights Movement. Check out Nikki Giovanni’s website to learn more about her work, including her other books and poems written for children.

  2. Rosa Parks is one of many important leaders who contributed to the American Civil Rights Movement. When you finish reading Nikki Giovanni’s Rosa, you can visit your local library to read books about other influential civil rights leaders.

  3. After Rosa Parks’ arrest, almost the entire African-American population of Montgomery, Alabama, refused to ride on segregated buses, an event known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. City buses and public transportation became an iconic battleground for the Civil Rights Movement. Take a trip on a public bus in your area and think about how what it would have been like before desegregation.

  4. The Civil Rights Movement took place throughout the entire United States, including all cities and towns in Tennessee. Take time to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee and in your city. You can ask a parent or grandparent if they have memories from this time period or visit a local history museum or library to find more information.