The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, based on the bestselling biography by Jeanne Theoharis and executive produced by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, takes a deeper dive into Rosa Parks’ often overlooked breadth of accomplishments and the impact of her fight to overcome racial injustice. Detailing her achievements beyond the mere fraction of Parks’ life taught in schools, the film takes a deeper dive into the groundbreaking actions spearheaded by Rosa throughout the course of the civil rights movement. 

• Directors Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton expertly weave together interviews from academics and activists such as Bryan Stevenson, Patrisse Cullors and Ericka Huggins, along with personal stories from her family, and remarkable footage of Mrs. Parks herself, to illuminate her decades of extensive organizing, strategizing, and activism in the pursuit of Black liberation. Lisa Gay Hamilton lends her talents to the documentary as the voice of Mrs. Rosa Parks. 

Quote from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Soledad O’Brien: “The Rosa Parks of American history – the quiet, demure and tired seamstress taking a seat on the bus – is simply a fable. The real Rosa Parks, whom we explore in this film, is a lifelong activist, outspoken strategist and freedom fighter. My hope is that this documentary, alongside Jeanne’s incredible book and the free teacher curriculum that she has created with Zinn Educational Project, helps to redefine Rosa Parks’ legacy and lead to a fuller understanding of her place in history.”  

• The Zinn Education Project, as part of its TeachTruth campaign and in response to state laws restricting how race and history are taught in school, is giving away more than 16,000 copies of the young readers’ edition of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, courtesy of Lush Cosmetics and a grant from the Ford Foundation/Soledad O’Brien Productions. The Ford Foundation grant has also enabled Theoharis, a team of educators, and ZEP to collaborate on a free curriculum suite of eight lessons about Rosa Parks and the Black freedom struggle across the 20th century to use with the film and book.

Executive Producers: Soledad O’Brien, Jo Honig, Patrick Conway, Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton
Directors: Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton
Producer: Christalyn Hampton
Produced By: SO’B Productions
Format: Documentary, 96 mins