Monday, October 24

Rosa Parks has left the bus

December 1st, 1955. That was the day that years later would become my birthday. But more important, that was the day that Rosa Parks grew sick and tired of being sick and tired. And the down-trodden everywhere thank her for it.

On that day 50 years ago, Miss Rosa would not be moved, refused to give up her bus seat -- in the back, in the infamous Colored Section -- to a white man. She probably figured she was already sitting atop the motor. What did they want? Her outside hanging onto the bumper, knees scraping the rough Alabama roads for a ride?
Angela Bassett portrays civil rights mother Rosa Parks in the DVD The Rosa Parks Story. Click photo for reviews and other details.

Miss Rosa said she wasn't at all physically tired, she was fed up with accommodating racism. She was a "Kanye West" long before he was born, too. Hers
was a magical moment of mass connectivity, much like West's when he said on national television, "George Bush doesn't like Black people."

Both did something akin to firing shots heard round the world. Except the slug fired by the immovable, then 42-year-old Rosa Parks actually led people to act. Her refusal to unseat sparked a year-long bus boycott that triggered a seismic change in the American experience for people of African descent. And really, for Africans in the Caribbean and across the Motherland, truth be told.

But Rosa Parks's revolution would not be televised; she didn't even have a mic. She just reached her tipping point, and her bullish little tipping point became one that jolted the whole damn earth. To me, she's more than the Mother of the Civil Rights movement; she is its Earth Mother.

Now at 92, Rosa Parks has died. Finally, she got off the bus -- that bumpy ride called life, God rest her soul. For the rest of us, the crazy ride -- the struggle for equality -- continues.

One of the best ways to honor the memory of Rosa Parks is to teach children about her, show them her as a great example of integrity. How one person can make a difference. Tell them as Miss Rosa might have when glued to that old bus seat: If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
For kids Grades 3-5, the new and beautifully illustrated book Rosa is written by poet extraordinairre Nikki Giovanni.  Giovanni's book tells the life story of Rosa Parks and includes how her friend Jo Ann Robinson, president of the Women's Political Council, organized the bus boycott Parks inspired, where Rev. King spoke.

Clicks to Miles Davis catalog, but explore as you like


Blogger obifromsouthlondon said...

May Allah rest her soul. The woman didn't make history with that stand. she defined history

1 love

12:14 PM  
Blogger Berry said...

OMG...this is pretty much the same thing I wrote in the mysterious lost post eaten by blogger earlier today! I was going to try to recreate what I wrote but since you've pretty much said the same thing I will leave it floating around in cyberspace.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

obi - no truer words have been said. i hope people realize that her stand -- which was NOT to stand -- helped set off freedom fights not just in america, but in the caribbean and africa, too.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

berry - i hope you recreate your post. love your work, so i'll be checking for it!

3:45 PM  
Blogger Lili said...

God rest her sould indeed! I was sad to read but happy that she is now able to finally rest...Lord knows her trials on this earth weren't easy. I was so moved by her story when I was a kid in elementary school I did a report on her and then Martin Luther King Jr....not normal topics for a 10 year old white girl in the 'burbs. Even then I knew that what she and MLK accomplished were bigger than what my little brain could understand.
I just came from my friend's blog Joe at Woolamaloo Gazette ( and posted a pretty amazing tribute as well...check it out.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

i went to that site to read your work. saw a great post about rosa parks, but it appears to have been written by the site's owner. what do i click to read yours?

1:22 PM  
Blogger Lili said...

Ug! Sorry, improper wording...I meant to check out Joe's post not mine.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

lol, lili. i was thinking "boy, that lili is waaay connected. some guy has let her take over his entire front page?!" lol anyway, you're right, his post is awesome. everyone's feeling the loss of rosa parks, around the world. gives me chills...

5:03 PM  

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