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Segregation Michelle Zhu Beyond my eyesI saw thousands of luminous sparkling stars, shining so bright like today was a special day. A special December 29th, 1955,but it’s not it’s just that the stars have every little uniqueness to it. Unique is what I am, many people say friends and family is the only key to happiness, well what if I said I’m happy with NO friends or family. The name’s Suzanna Piptula, but people call me Suzy. My parents died when I was young. I needed the warm welcoming hugs, kisseson my cheek, saying they loved me, but all that ended on November 30th, my birthday... that’s why I moved to Pine Level, Alabama. It was a hard year for me becausemoving meant losing my best friend her name was Rosie. I could never live through leaving my best friend again. We were BESTfriends since birth. Our parents were super close and knowing they gave birth to girls they knew we were going to be just as closeas them. I don’t know if Rosie and I would ever be as closeas we were. Sheonce sent me a letter, telling me she missed me, but I felt so guilty leaving her that I couldn’t bear to reply. We never communicated after that, so I knew it was over just like that. But I’m happy just the way I am. I have Berry, my dog . She’sthere for me, licks my face when I’m sad, plays with me when I’m happy, cuddles with me like we could never lose each other. Ronald Stone is my love; we have secretly been together for a while now. He cheers me up every time, no doubt. We can never go out in public, we would get caught…I wish a miracle would happen, wishing that I wouldn’t have to hide. *********** December 30th is the day I am starting my new job. I’ll heading to work sooner or later. Finishing up on my chores, mama used to sweep the floors, wash the dishes, but I’m taking her place in doing the female’s job. Knock-knock. I froze dead in place. My heart was beating faster every minute. Knock knock even harder this time. I slowly walk to the door, trying to be as quiet as I can, but the wood floor is so old it creeks every step I take. I look through the peek-hole and seethis mysterious guy wearing a colorful, flowery mask. I didn’t know who this person was. I reach to unlatch the lock. Before I could even try to do anything, the force of the person’s arms pushed the door wide open and slammed it! That I guaranteed the neighbors 40 feet away would've heard it. Eventually the person slid the mask off his/her face. ************** Screech! The bus took a pit stop. We slowly lined up to enter the bus, and we each paid the bus fare to the driver. When I came to him, he gave me a cold scowl. I felt nerves going up my spine. I headed to the back of the bus. It was 7:45a.m. and my shift started at 8:05,hoping I wouldn’t be late for my first day of teaching at Montgomery Industrial School for girls. He started the engine and drove at 25 mph. Drivers behind us were honking, but I highly doubt he heard it. After the 45 minute drive, I just wanted to rush out of there, but we blacks don’t have that privilege to cut in front of the whites. After I exited the bus, I started running, hair swaying, coat shaking, belt rattling, shoesclicking, eyesturning towards me in every which direction. I got to the school, took a glimpse before entering the building. Opened the big heavy doors and start rushing up the stairs, headed to room 370,my classroom. When I got in, I slowed down and saw the principal standing there foottapping. “I’m so sorry; I had some problems with getting here. It won’t happen again,” I said breathlessly.


“It better not, two strikes and you’re out, you’re in luck this time.” He started marching out the door. ********** *Yawn* I stick my hand in my purse and reach for my house key, but it wasn’t there! I was more awake now and started furiously looking around for it, retracing my steps. Then a door was pulled open, which startled me. It was Ronald. I got a funny thought in my head, for somereason that he took my key this morning. When I entered the room I could smell the freshnessof being home, but it was a different kind of smell. The smell of my favorite cake, double fudge chocolate! A wide smile appeared on my face. I couldn’t believe that today was the day of my birthday! I was so focused on everything else, I didn’t even know what day it was. Ronald was so nice to do this for me. We sang the Birthday song, ate a bunch and had lots laughs. I really enjoyed the love and happinesswe had together. Then it was time for the presents. He took out a little wrapped gift box. I only needed to lift the lid. I took a sneak peek and saw a shiny diamond, he told me it was passed down from his mom. It was beautiful, it had a diamond in the middle and little sapphires around it. “Will you marry me?” Ronald said while kneeling down. I started happy crying. It was the best moment in my life, but I could not marry him. During a time like this, when black and whites weren’t equal. I just could not. He was hurt, but I knew it was for the best for both of us. ********** I’m heading on the bus stop with Ronald, keeping our distance away. Here comesthe bus. I head inside. “Blacks go from the back of the bus to enter,” the bus driver said. I thought this bus driver was more cruel bus driver than the last. I felt hurt for what he said. We did what he said with no exception. Ronald just entered and sat in the front. I worry what would happen if I accepted the marriage. After a few stops, this black woman about 30 years old came on the bus. The bus driver told her the same thing he told us. “Blacks go from back of the bus to enter.” Shedid exactly what she was told. The next stop came and a few whites got on the bus. They took the last seats, but one white was still standing. He rudely asked the black that got on the stop before to get out, but the lady refused to give up her seat without a fight. Shedidn’t budge. The bus driver saw what was happening and called the police. A few minutes later, the police sirens got closer and closer then a pause came and a police car appeared right in front of the bus. The police came on the bus and arrested her, for her seat for a white. I felt the urge to stand up for that lady, but if only I had the confidence I would have. This segregation needed to STOP. Years pass, nothing has changed, until 1964.That’s when the big news starts happening. That’s the year I got married, the year I wasn’t judged on my race. 1964is the year that officially ended segregation with the Civil Rights Act. It was one of those happy days, I went to work riding the bus, but when I got on the bus the signs on the bus seats telling the white and colored sections where to sit were removed. Also when I get off the bus, I seeblacks getting applying for a job at a public restaurant, no more different colored bathrooms, but the main thing that gave it away was when I got to school. I saw blacks and whites going to school together. And then I knew segregation was over. I knew that word spread and it eventually got to Ronald, so he came over that night. And we celebrated that night. I still felt this speck of guilt of wanting to help out in the segregation. I wanted to stand up for that lady who sat in the front and got arrested. I felt like this battle may have ended, but I may have not helped that lady. In my heart I do know I contributed in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, others may not need to know, but I


feel proud becauseI took one step and made a difference in this world. I felt like I had something I never had before, confidence.


Author’s Note For more than 200 years before the Civil War, slavery existed in the United States. But after the war things began to get worse for blacks. This took place in America where segregation is a separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. This changed people’s lives in 1875-1944. It was set such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from water fountains, attending school, going to the movies etc. Now before, there was no need to separate whites and blacks because 95% of blacks were slaves. But they were separated at schools, theaters, taverns, and other public places. They didn’t have many rights. So many blacks had to fight for their rights and to get the freedom they deserve. Boycott is a group's refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization in protest against its policies. The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially started on December 1, 1955. (The day Rosa Parks was arrested) That was the day when the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being moving to the back when a white boarded. Sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks on 1 December 1955 in Montgomery Alabama. The Montgomery bus boycott occurred and was a 13-month mass protest that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. So when Rosa Parks was arrested, the leaders in Montgomery's black community saw the incident as an opportunity for staging a protest against the city's segregation laws. Over the weekend of December 3 and 4, Martin Luther King met with Jo Ann Robinson (head of the Women's Political Council) and E. D. Nixon (an official with the NAACP). The purpose of their meeting was to plan a large scale boycott against the Montgomery city bus lines. Forty thousand handbills were printed and passed out among the members of the black community. The boycott began on Monday, December 5, and it was an immediate success. According to the bus company receipts, about 90 percent of the blacks who usually rode the buses joined the boycott and found other kinds of transportation. The Montgomery bus Boycott was a very significant event in the civil rights movement which lasted the 1950's and 60's. The boycott was important because it caught the attention of the entire nation. People around the country were made aware of the event because it was launched on such a massive scale and lasted for more than a year. Furthermore, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was important because it set the tone for the whole civil rights movement. In particular, the boycott gave Martin Luther King a position of leadership within the national movement and showed that the nonviolent method of protest was helpful. -Michelle Zhu


Bibliography Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Rosa Parks. New York: Holiday House, 1993. Print. A bibliography of Rosa Parks about her childhood to her death. That shows how her life has been different from everyone else and that she wanted to make a difference in civil rights. And believed there was something to be done. Mainly about how she make a mark in history, for ending segregation. I thought this book was helpful because it showed me her childhood and basic facts about how her life was and what she did that made blacks and whites equal. Fitzgerald, Stephanie. On the Front Line Struggling for Civil Rights. Chicago: Raintree, 2006. Print. The book tells about a lot of the civil rights in the United States. It shows the memorable events from slavery 1865 to 1969 Martin Luther King’s death. Also shows brief information on the heroic people like Rosa Parks for the long fight of justice and equality. I thought this book was helpful because it showed the basic information I need to know about Rosa Parks in the 1900s. Showing the fight she had for justice and equality. Friese, Kai, and Andrew Young. Rosa Parks. Englewood Cliffs: Silver Brudett Press, 1990. Print. A bibliography of Rosa Parks who refused to give up her bus seat that helped establish the civil rights movement. This book was really helpful because of the detailed facts it tells me about every little thing that happened on December 1, 1955. It gave lots of descriptions on what Rosa Parks did to help end segregation and what she did to make a difference in history. Markey, Kevin. “Rosa Parks.” 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century. 1998. Print. This book is about women in the 20th century that were important that made a mark in the history. These women spoke out. The women will never be the same neither will the world. These women made how the world is today like Eleanor Roosevelt compassionate social action. The women in this book has influenced our lives for untold years to come. This book was helpful, it showed me the facts about what the people did back then that influence us. Like the civil rights we have, it showed me women who made a BIG difference in history. Shepard, Arica, and Brielle Stonaker. “Segregation.” Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education. Greg Marney, 5 Apr. 2011. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <http://kawvalley.k12.ks.us>. This web site talks about the changes and effects of segregation. How it affected black people, what the whites did that the blacks couldn’t. There were important dates, times, people were mentioned that we really helpful. This is really helpful because it gave me lots of facts, that I didn’t know.


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