Which document is more trustworthy? Why? (Read each source below, then answer the questions in the notebook. Ask your teacher for an inquiry organizer worksheet to help you think about the ways that the sources support and contradict each other.)


READ: Court Affidavit

Head Note: This sworn statement was submitted to the state court when Rosa Parks appealed her conviction.

Rosa Parks, Appellant


City of Montgomery, Appellee

Appealed to Court of Appeals of Alabama From: Circuit Court of Montgomery County

Feb. 12, 1957 Affirmed--[illegible signature]

Agreed Stipulation of Facts

Attached hereto and marked Exhibit "A" is a plan of the seating arrangement of the bus on which the alleged violation occurred. There were thirty-six seats assigned for passengers. Just prior to the alleged violation by the defendant the ten front seats were assigned for white persons and the back twenty-six seats were assigned for negroes. The defendant was sitting on one of the first dual seats immediately behind those occupied by white passengers and all seats assigned to whites were occupied and all standing room in that section was taken. Negroes were also standing in the negro section. The evidence is in dispute as to whether or not there were vacant seats in the negro section. In order to take on more white passengers who were at that time waiting to board the bus the driver, the agent in charge, requested the passengers on the row of seats immediately in the rear of the white section to give up their seats to white passengers. This would have made four more seats available to whites and under such reassignment the white section would have been increased to fourteen seats and the negro section decreased to twenty-two seats. The defendant, a negro, refused to move in accordance with the request of the bus driver, the agent in charge, and was arrested for such refusal.

The defendant was convicted in the Recorders Court of the City of Montgomery, Alabama, and appealed to this Court where the case is at issue.

Respectfully submitted,

D. Eugene Loe

Fred D. Gray

Charles D. Langford

Feb. 22, 1956

Filed in open court and made a part of record of this case.



Source: Excerpt from the brief filed on behalf of Rosa Parks in Parks vs. City of Montgomery. Filed in the Court of Appeals, Montgomery, Alabama, March 28, 1956. Signed by D. Eugene Loe, attorney for the city of Montgomery, and Fred D. Gray and Charles D. Langford, attorneys for Rosa Parks.

USE THE NOTEBOOK (instructions):


These definitions should help with reading comprehension.

  • alleged: claimed, but not proven
  • "negroes": word used to refer to African Americans at this time
  • Circuit Court of Montgomery: local city court where Rosa Parks was first tried and found guilty
  • Court of Appeals of Alabama: state court where Rosa Parks appealed her conviction
  • affidavit: sworn written statement submitted to a court

"Exhibit A"

This seating diagram was an exhibit in the Parks v. City of Montgomery trial. The image shows where Rosa Parks sat on the bus.

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