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Rosa Parks was an American activist and leader in the civil rights movement whose bravery led to nationwide efforts to empower African Americans and raise awareness about racism towards them. She has been named ‘the first lady of civil rights’ and ‘the mother of the freedom movement’ by many, including the United States Congress. Throughout her lifetime, she has achieved many imperative things and has played a significant role in an effort to end racial segregation for the African American community.
One example includes her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott which occurred on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. This day marked one of the most significant dates in history, when Rosa Parks boarded a bus and sat at the front which was designated to ‘whites-only’, rather than sitting at the back where African Americans were supposed to sit. When the bus driver asked her to move, she rejected his order to surrender her seat in the ‘colored section’. After a long 381 days of 40,000 African American bus riders boycotting buses, a law was integrated on December 21, 1956, which guaranteed all citizens (regardless of race) equal rights and equal protection under state and federal laws. Her bravery and ability to stand up for what she believed in had inspired the black community to boycott buses, setting one of the largest social movements in history, the Montgomery Bus Boycott. After the boycott, Parks became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement and was heavily recognised as a leader for her bravery and achievements.
Another example of Rosa playing a profound role in the community for standing up for African American rights was her active role in the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), in which Rosa served as its secretary. Her active participation and willingness to become an important figure through many controversial acts has led to global efforts to end racism/racial segregation of public facilities and has marked history for all citizens of the African American community.
To this day, Rosa Parks is commended for being such a prominent leader and her achievements that have helped shaped today’s generation. Rosa Parks utilises a democratic style of leadership in all her tasks and accomplishments. She has instigated increased communication between African Americans and white Americans, has built trust and respect among the community, consistently involves and consults group members, considers individuals and tasks as equally important, has worked on resolving and decreasing conflict on a global scale, listens carefully to individuals and changes her leadership role according to the situation at hand.
Rosa has become such an admirable figure through her effective utilisation of the democratic leadership style in a number of situations. As well as starting the Montgomery Bus Boycott campaign and later cofounding another civil rights organisation, she has also taken part in several African-American organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, the Montgomery Voters League, the NAACP Youth Council, and many other civic and religious groups. She uses democratic leadership in these examples of organisations as she is working for organisations that are working toward a common goal which is civil rights, however in each organisation there are seperate tasks in which she still shares her power/authority and leadership role.
Throughout Rosa’s lifetime, she has served as a leader several times and therefore it is essential her leadership style is used effectively. An example of her leadership being demonstrated includes when she was a civil rights activist and served as the secretary for her community chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). As a civil rights activist and secretary, it is essential for her to use a democratic style of leadership as it is the most effective in this case because members of the NAACP will feel more engaged and creative, therefore high productivity will be made. By Rosa Parks using the democratic leadership style she was able to get her message across easier through increased communication, gaining trust and respect from other individuals and by involving other organisation members which has allowed her to stand up for her beliefs and values and raise awareness about racial segregation throughout the USA and the rest of the world. Without using a democratic approach, conflict could have been instigated, low productivity could have been made and workers would not have felt motivated which would’ve had a negative impact on the wellbeing of individuals’ and the rest of the NAACP.
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