Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rosa Parks 1913-2005

Born Rosa Louise McCauley on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama, Parks worked together with her husband, Raymond Parks, whom she married in 1932, in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) programs. Rosa became a secretary and later a youth leader of the local branch of the NAACP; Rosa Parks was heading home after a long day at work as a black seamstress. She boarded a bus and found a vacant seat. Trouble was, at that time in history, if there weren’t enough seats on the bus for Caucasians, Black Americans were supposed to give up their seats, the law in Montgomery, Alabama. As it happened, the bus soon filled up and Rosa was expected to give up her seat.

Fat chance. The lady had had enough. Rosa Parks refused to budge. In short order, Mrs. Parks was arrested, fingerprinted and fined for violating a city ordinance. She was preparing for a major youth conference at the time of her arrest.

Even to many people who were around in those days, the era of racial segregation seems as remote as the Civil War. You might say that back in the Fifties, American society lived at a different point in evolutionary time.
Rosa Louise Parks

Social historians point to her individual act of defiance on December 1, 1955, as the beginning of the end of that time. The incident turned out to be a catalyst for change. Her arrest resulted in a black boycott of the city’s bus line—a boycott that ended 381 days later when the bus line caved in, on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation in transportation was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the bus boycott triggered a wave of protest and freedom marches that captured national attention. The civil rights movement gathered momentum, and profound changes followed, and the civil right movement that continued until at least 1964.

Ten years later, I was born.

Doesn't seem so long ago when you put it in that sort of timeline, in relation to your own existence, now, does it?

Apple computers has their whole home page, as well as a feature, on her, for civil history in a nutshell, a part of their "Think Different" campaign. If you're curious, you can take a peek at what they say.

The link