Seventy years before Rosa Parks sparked the civil rights movement by refusing to move to the back of a bus, there was Ida B. Wells.
Riding a train in 1884, she was asked by a conductor to move from her seat in the ladies’ car to the smoking car. When she refused, it took three men to remove Wells from her seat. She immediately hired a lawyer to bring suit against the railroad, winning 500-dollars in damages.
Although the decision was overturned on appeal, Wells spent the rest of her life as a journalist and tireless crusader against racial injustice.