Rosa Parks
A Life in American History
by Darryl Mace
January 2021, 189pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6842-9
$63, £47, 55€, A86
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6843-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In December of 1956, the United States Supreme Court affirmed that segregation on the Montgomery, Alabama public transportation system violated the Constitutional rights of African Americans.

Rosa Parks's crucial decision proved more than one to remain seated. This book uses historical analysis and Parks's own words to paint a complete picture of her life as a courageous and defiant civil rights activist.

Rosa Parks: A Life in American History explores the life of this important civil rights activist in the context of the cultural and social history of her time. The book focuses heavily on the influence of her mother and grandparents in her civil rights activism and emphasizes the fact that Rosa Parks was always active and engaged in the struggle for civil rights. Analyses of speeches she delivered provide a picture that broadens her influence and importance far beyond the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Chapters are organized chronologically, beginning with Rosa Parks’ family history and ending with her death and legacy, and a culminating chapter explores her extensive impact on American history. The work also includes a timeline of key events in her life and a bibliography to aid additional research. Readers will benefit from a holistic approach that explores Parks’ life well beyond her refusal to give up her seat on the Montgomery bus line. Of note, this book connects Parks’ lifelong activism to the spirit of justice and resistance she learned at a young age.


  • Offers a clear and concise biography of Rosa Parks
  • Examines the entirety of her life and activism beyond the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Highlights how Parks's own words best tell her story
  • Shows the complexity of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the resilience of Montgomery's Black population
Darryl Mace is professor and chair of the history and political science department at Cabrini University. He studies cultural history, the Civil Rights Movement, the experiences of Africans in the diaspora, media studies, popular culture, and gender theory. Mace authored In Remembrance of Emmett Till: Regional Stories and Media Responses to the Black Freedom Struggle (University Press of Kentucky, 2014) and edited American History through its Greatest Speeches, Volume 2 (ABC-CLIO, 2016). He earned his PhD in history and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from Temple University.


"Those interested in learning more about Parks and the civil rights movement will find inspiration in this enlightening work."—Library Journal, June 1, 2021

"Recommended. General readers, lower-division undergraduates, and two-year program students."—Choice, September 1, 2021

Black History Lives

This biography series explores the lives of the most iconic figures in African American history, with material that supports the Common Core Standards while highlighting the subject’s significance in our contemporary world. Each volume includes a narrative of the life of each subject, a chapter on the subject’s larger cultural and historical significance, a chronology, a comprehensive bibliography, and sidebars that offer pertinent cultural connections to the worlds of social, political, intellectual, and popular culture. An appendix of primary document excerpts rounds out each volume. Readers of the Black History Lives series will gain a greater understanding of the outside events and influences that shaped each subject’s world, from familial relationships to political and cultural developments.


Series foreword Biographical narrative chapters Why X Matters chapter that explores the subject’s importance within the context of American history Timeline Bibliography Primary Source Documents “Cultural Connections” Sidebars Index
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