Today, the spotlights are on this strong and beautiful woman, Mrs. Rosa Parks. This bold and audacious woman was simply the pioneer of Civil Rights and Martin Luther King, Jr. was inspired by her simple action. Do you know what she did and how it changed the life of African Americans? Wow, you are about to read and watch about one of the most amazing women the world has ever met.
Who was Rosa Parks? What did she do to change the whole history of the United States?
A number historians date the beginning of the Modern Civil Rights Movement in the United States to December 1, 1955. That was exactly the day when an unknown seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Rosa Parks was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance, but her lonely act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America, and made her an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere.
As we all know, there were not many opportunities for black people in the U.S.. “Back then,” Mrs. Parks recalled in an interview, “we didn’t have any civil rights. It was just a matter of survival, of existing from one day to the next. I remember going to sleep as a girl hearing the Klan ride at night and hearing a lynching and being afraid the house would burn down.” In the same interview, she cited her lifelong acquaintance with fear as the reason for her relative fearlessness in deciding to appeal her conviction during the bus boycott, led by King, Jr. “I didn’t have any special fear,” she said. “It was more of a relief to know that I wasn’t alone.” This was not the only problems in Alabama regarding buses. Have you ever heard of the Freedom Riders?
Watch Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak about the bus boycott and Rosa Parks:
Mrs. Parks spent her last years in Detroit, where she died in 2005, at 92. After her death, her casket was placed in the rotunda of the United States Capitol for two days. The whole nation could pay its respects to the woman whose courage and boldness had changed the lives of so many people all around America and inspired other nations and people around the world. She is the one and only woman and second African American in American history to lie in state at the Capitol, an honor usually reserved for Presidents of the United States.
However, I am not going to tell her story on my own. You will certainly find a plethora of biographies on the internet. I would recommend Rosa Parks’ Bio for it is concise and very well put together.
Also, watch Mrs. Parks speak for herself:
In 1995, Rosa Parks was interviewed by Larry King and you can watch it here:
America’s current president, Mr. Barack Obama, is in his position today thanks to people like Martin Luther King, Jr. Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks, W.E.B DuBois, Huey P. Newton, Malcom X and others who struggled really hard for the Civil Rights and equality. Unfortunately, we still see many cases of racial slur not only in the U.S. but also in Brazil, South Africa and surely many other countries.
President Barack Obama, in order to honor Mrs. Rosa Parks, has taken this significant picture on the same bus where everything happened back in 1955.
Watch President Obama talking about Rosa Parks:
Watch Minister Louis Farrakhan speaking at the memorial service of Rosa Parks on Nov 2, 2005 at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Michigan
Wow! Mrs. Rosa Parks, unfortunately I did not have a chance to thank you for what you did for humanity as a whole. The intentions I have with this post are thank you for what you did and let others know who you were and how impacting “simple” actions can be.
What do you think about Mrs. Rosa Parks? If you were there, would you have stood up?
This material has been selected, adapted, analyzed, and put together by Rodrigo P. Honorato.