. . . At the time of her arrest, Parks was 42 and on her way home from work as a seamstress.
Years later, Parks said “When I got on the bus that evening I wasn’t thinking about causing a revolution or anything of the kind. …
“But when that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night.” . . .
Shy and soft-spoken, Mrs. Parks often appeared uncomfortable with the near-beatification bestowed upon her by blacks, who revered her as a symbol of their quest for dignity and equality. She would say that she hoped only to inspire others, especially young people, “to be dedicated enough to make useful lives for themselves and to help others.”
She also expressed fear that since the birthday of Dr. King became a national holiday, his image was being watered down and he was being depicted as merely a “dreamer.”
“As I remember him, he was more than a dreamer,” Mrs. Parks said. “He was an activist who believed in acting as well as speaking out against oppression.”