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Exhibition Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words

Leona Edwards (1887–1979) and Cousin Beatrice Brooks, 1925. Photograph. Visual Materials from the Rosa Parks Papers, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (005.00.00)
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Rosa’s Mother, Leona Edwards

Leona Edwards was born in Pine Level, Alabama, the youngest of Sylvester and Rose Edwards’s three daughters. She attended Payne University in Selma but did not earn a degree. Leona became a dedicated rural school teacher, and her meager salary was the main source of the family’s income. She instilled in Rosa the importance of faith, self-respect, and education—values reinforced by her grandparents and the teachers at Miss White’s School, a school that Rosa would attend at age eleven.

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