5 Movies & TV Shows You Should See That Tell Rosa Parks’ Story

107 years ago, on this day, American activist Rosa Parks was born. Her pivotal role in the civil rights movement changed the history of this country, and her legacy lives on proudly today. And Parks’ story doesn’t just live on because her work is historically noteworthy. We’ll never forget Parks’ story because the details of her journey are so genuinely compelling. The moment she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus is a powerful, powerful scene — one that many Hollywood directors have taken it upon themselves to recreate.

In case you’re in the mood to be inspired, here are five movies and TV shows that tell Rosa Parks’ story.

Boycott (2001)

In 2001, Iris Little Thomas took on the role of Rosa Parks in HBO’s Boycott. Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jeffrey Wright) are also featured in the film, which covers everything from Parks’ historic confrontation on a bus through the end of the Montgomery bus boycott.

Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks (2002)

This Oscar-nominated documentary was directed by Robert Houston and featured archival footage of Parks, E.D. Nixon, Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King.

The Rosa Parks Story (2002)

Angela Bassett took on the role of Rosa Parks in TV movie The Rosa Parks Story. The movie focuses on Parks’ refusal to stand on a Montgomery bus, and how that moment came to pass.

Doctor Who, “Rosa” (2018)

In 2018, Malorie Blackman wrote the Doctor Who episode “Rosa,” which has the Doctor time travel to Parks’ bus ride. Blackman was the show’s first nonwhite writer and only its sixth female writer. This episode, starring Vinette Robinson, was widely praised and viewed as a commitment by BBC to improve the diversity of voices they have on staff.

Behind the Movement (2018)

Meta Golding plays Rosa Parks in TV movie Behind the Movement. The movie focuses on how Parks’ gesture became the moment that sparked this massive movement. (Sadly, this movie is not currently available for streaming.)

In honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday, let’s all take a moment to reflect on her selflessness, bravery, and determination. There’s so much to be learned from Parks’ story — and we wouldn’t mind a few new biopics in the coming years.

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