Rosa Parks Bus Seating Diagram (1956) Civil Rights Era: Primary Source Analysis Activity


Rosa Park’s Bus Seating Diagram as presented in federal court.

Primary Source Analysis Activity:

Step One: With Rosa Park’s name blanked out, students will examine the diagram.

Step Two: Students will answer analysis questions and attempt to determine the historical context of the document.

Step Three: The teacher will share the historical context: This diagram shows where Rosa Parks was sitting when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. It was an exhibit in the Browder v. Gayle court case, which challenged Montgomery and Alabama laws requiring segregated seating on buses. On June 5, 1956, a Federal three-judge panel ruled that such laws violated the 14th Amendment. Later that year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision. Text adapted from “The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks” in the May/June 1999 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication. 

Click on the link to download primary source activity: what-is-the-historical-context-of-this-document-rosa-parks-bus-diagram

Adapted from a National Archives Activity


About historymartinez

Social Studies Department Chair, Room A305 Tutoring Mondays @ 4:15 pm & Wednesdays @ 8:00 a.m.
This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Civil Rights Era, U.S. History. Bookmark the permalink.

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