LITTLE ROCK(AP)_ One member of the Little Rock Nine says civil rights icon Rosa Parks was an inspiration to the students as they struggled to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Parks died yesterday in Detroit at age 92.
Minnijean Brown Trickey says the Little Rock Nine thought if Rosa Parks could do it, they could do it too. Mrs. Parks was 42 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, sparking the Montgomery bus boycott. She is known as the "mother of the civil rights movement."
Trickey said Parks' actions in Alabama opened possibilities for the Little Rock Nine but also taught them that civil rights would not come easily. Former President Bill Clinton awarded Parks the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996.