Rosa Parks, the black seamstress whose refusal to give her seat on a bus to a white man sparked a revolution in US race relations, has died at the age of 92. Her arrest for that refusal, in 1955, triggered a 381-day bus boycott by the black population of Montgomery, Alabama. The boycott brought the Reverend Martin Luther King to national attention for the first time.
Parks was not the first to be detained for the offence but, as local secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, she made the best candidate for a test case in the courts. The event helped spark many other protests against segregation. In 1956 Parks’s case resulted in the US Supreme Court ruling that the segregated bus service was unconstitutional.