Rosa Parks Dies!
Copyright 2005 El-Veasey Publishing Inc.
Cvil rights pioneer Rosa Parks died, Monday 10-24-2005, leaving behind a legacy that will probably never die. Fifty years ago Parks made history when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger in the black section of the bus she was riding on. I don’t know if she was aware that she was making history at that moment, but that’s how watershed moments are made: in a decisive moment that changing one’s life forever and in this case American civil rights history forever as well.
That one simple act that any black person could have done but didn’t do, was the spark that the budding civil rights movement needed to shift it into full gear, and to be a rallying point, for activists like Martin Luther King and others to focus there energies on and use as a spearhead against that barrier of American apartheid: Jim Crow laws and enforced racial segregation.
Parks said in 1992 that contrary to popular belief the real reason she refused to give up her seat was because she felt she had the right to be treated with the same respect as white passengers and that black people had endured mistreatment to long. That act triggered a 381 day bus boycott by black citizens, organized by the then little know Baptist minister, Martin Luther King, thrusting him into the national media spotlight, and eventually leading to the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, which banned racial discrimination in all public accommodations. Parks said she had no idea at the time that what did would lead to all the changes that would come later, saying it was just another day like any other day, but what made it special was all the people jumping on board the protest.
She was rewarded for her stand against injustice with threats, harassment, and the inability to find work in Alabama. Subsequently she and her husband relocated to Detroit, MI in 1957, where she worked for Congressman John Conyers from 1965 until retiring in 1988, her husband, Raymond, died in 1977. She retired so she could devote more time to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, established in 1987, to develop leadership among Detroit's young people and to initiate them into the civil rights movement.
Parks had two books published: “Rosa Parks: My Story," in February 1992. And “Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation," In 1994. A collection of letters "Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today's Youth." were published in 1996.
The world will never be the same, in a good way, because of the decision of one woman. It’s nice to know that one person can still make a world changing difference.
Thank You Rosa Parks!
Rest In Peace!