A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Just one person can make a positive impact on the lives of others. Kids and teens can consider social activism a viable way to make the world a better place.
Positive Role Models
U.S. civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are prominent positive role models. Jeanne Theoharis is a historian and author of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, the book that is the basis for the documentary of the same name. Newly-elected U.S. Congressman John Conyers Jr. hires Parks as an administrative assistant. Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid activist, is a Parks admirer. Ed Vaughn is the owner of Vaughn's Bookstore, which is reportedly Detroit, Michigan's first Black-owned bookshop and where Parks is a customer.
BIPOC and White people are civil rights activists, global government leaders, and historians. Negative depictions and references include BIPOC and White kids attending segregated U.S. schools and a claim that Black women's roles were marginalized during the early years of the U.S. civil rights movement.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Sexual assault allegations, assassination, bullying, bombing of homes, cross burnings, dead bodies, death threats, execution, guns, incarceration, Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, and slavery.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to the marriage of U.S. civil rights advocates Rosa and Raymond Parks and the estranged relationship of Rosa Parks' parents.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"N" word slur, "ass," and "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Apparel with logos and messages and smartphones.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette and pipe smoking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks is a documentary that chronicles the life and career of the African American civil rights advocate. References and images include sexual assault allegations, bullying, cross burnings, dead bodies, death threats, guns, bombing of homes, incarceration, Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, slavery, and smoking. There are uses of the "N" word, "ass," and "hell." The documentary shows how the efforts of just one person can make a positive impact on the lives of many others. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This film does justice to the civil rights activist who set out to end injustice. The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Parks offers kids and teens a comprehensive account of the Alabama native's life that begins as a Black child growing up in the U.S. segregated South during the early 20th century. Parks reveals that she had to walk three miles to go to school. "I'd see the bus pass by my house every day," she recalls, and "the bus was among the first ways that I realized that there was a Black world and a White world." It's an experience that later leads Parks on a path to the U.S. civil rights movement, which includes the launch of a landmark boycott to end bus segregation. "We are not in a struggle against Black and White," she says, "but wrong and right."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Extraordinary Black Women in American History
Amazing Books for Teens Exploring Black History
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate