Sunday saw the 58Th. Anniversary of an event that changed history and it was down to a small, poor, quietly spoken African American woman. She was of course Rosa Parks. She has now taken her place among the most revered people in history because of her courage, her resolve and her great dignity. Her refusal to give up her seat on the bus to a white man kicked off a series of events which would change America for ever, the fire she lit still burns brightly today, for proof of that you only need look at the White House and its incumbent Barrack Obama.
Rosa Parks taken from the bus to prison
The story does not need retelling by me but I will say that Rosa Parks took her place in history and she continues to inspire those of us who struggle for a better world. She gives hope as well as inspiration. The repellent racism which blighted America at that time and still does today was not eventually challenged by armies, it was extraordinarily challenged by a small black woman who was travelling home after doing a tiring day’s work as a seamstress, she let the genie out of the bottle and it will never now be put back in.
Along with people like Mandela and Martin Luther King she has taught us that we should never give up, who would have thought that such a minor incident would go on to shake America and the world?. How many thought that white supremacist rule would ever be overturned in South Africa, how many thought that Mandela would die in jail and be forgotten and Apartheid would always be with us?. We all know now that one man did not give up despite the overwhelming odds and he, Mandela, inspires us still. When you are ready to quit, when you are tired and exhausted, when you are losing hope, think of Rosa parks and carry on. Think also of the song we associate with her all over the world where people are oppressed and believe that right will prevail and that “we shall overcome some day”.
1999 Rosa Parks is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton
The Rosa Parks myth was that she was acting alone and in need of a seat on the bus after a hard day's work.
Socialism - the choice of parasites everywhere.
Anonymous said...Wednesday, December 04, 2013 1:30:00.
There never was any myth about Rosa Parks it has all been open from the start, the reactionary racist American political system has never been able to tarnish her in any way which speaks for itself, you go and iron your white pointy hat you bastard.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 2:59:00 am
Capitalism, home of crooks, gangsters and shysters, rotten to the core, supported by the kind of people who would murder their own mothers and fathers to get a ticket to the orphans outing.
"Capitalism, home of crooks, gangsters and shysters, rotten to the core, supported by the kind of people who would murder their own mothers and fathers to get a ticket to the orphans outing."
Change capitalism to Labour party and orphans outing to westminster and you are 100% correct.
Anonymous said.Thursday, December 05, 2013 10:21:00 am
Christ almighty I'm arguing with a primary school kid, and not a very bright one at that.
There is no 'myth' as such about Rosa Parks. She was a committed activist and the history of the ant-segregation campaign is well documented. It is true, that Claudette Colvin was the first woman to challenge the segregation rule in Montgomery, but because she was a pregnant, unmarried teenager, the NAACP were unwilling to have her as the figurehead of their campaign. That was a political decision which reflected the mores of the times, and which we may deplore, but it should not be used to diminish the significance of the actions taken by Rosa Parks whose courage and commitment to racial justice was unshakeable.
One final, but important observation - the major actors in the challenge to bus segregation were women. I do feel that often we men are so busy fighting battles that we don't notice women doing the real work of making peace!!!!
Anonymous Ross said...Thursday, December 05, 2013 10:40:00 pm.
Ross, I agree and you covered it all, no need for me to add anything except that there are some people whose racism and hatred are so deeply ingrained that they will always look for ways to denigrate the heroic actions of people like Rosa Parks.
I'm embarrassed for the people responsible for that MLK site, but even more embarrassed for anyone who has read it and thinks it's somehow evidence that Rosa Parks actions were somehow less than admirable.
Anonymous said...Friday, December 06, 2013 1:38:00 pm
How do you go about overestimating the courage of a black woman refusing to give up her seat to a white man in 19 50's Alabama?.
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