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Exhibition Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words

Raymond and Rosa Parks’s 1959 income tax return, 1960. Rosa Parks Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (041.00.00)

Reversal of Income

This 1959 income tax return form shows the acute financial reversal the Parkses incurred after Rosa’s arrest. They reported an annual income of only $661.00. From 1959 through 1964, Rosa worked as a seamstress at the Stockton Sewing Company. She sewed aprons and skirts for seventy-five cents apiece. Raymond was unemployed from January to August 1959. In October they moved into the Progressive Civic League as the building’s caretakers to reduce expenses.