Interview with Rosa Parks
QUESTION 10
INTERVIEWER:

MRS. PARKS, IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE HOW THE BUSES WERE SEGREGATED AND WHAT THE SYSTEM WAS.

Rosa Parks:

Well, the system of legal racial segregation on the buses. The white passengers occupied the front seats and blacks in the back. But there was a, guess you can say custom or practice, that if the back of the bus was filled up and people was standing in the aisle, they still would leave a certain number of vacant seats in the front even if no white people boarded the bus, buses. The time that if white would get on the bus and occupy what was supposed to be the designated seats for them, they were all filled, some drivers not all, would have their first row of black people to stand though they were back of the white to accommodate those whites who were standing. So that was very humiliating, very oppressive and even with having to take a certain section because if your race was also humiliating, but having to stand up on, out of a particular driver to keep a white person from having to stand was, to my mind, most inhumane. We were paying the same fare, in fact, some black people had to pay double fare because, I mentioned earlier, if they were trying to get on the bus in the rear door, they would have to either walk where they were going after having paid the fare in the front, or pay another fare when another fare. More than 75, between 85 and I think 90% of the patronage of the buses were black people because while there were some white people who used the buses, they were very much in the minority and we were very much in the majority because more white people could own and drive their own cars than blacks.**