October 26, 2005

Rosa Parks: An American Icon

Rosa Parks's life was one of humility and courage in the face of adversity. In 1955, in my birthplace and heart of the civil rights movement, Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks took a stand against bigotry and hatred by refusing to give up her seat to a white man. Her defiant stand sparked the 381 day Montgomery bus boycott, led to a 1956 Supreme Court ruling which ended segregation on public transit systems, and ignited the civil rights movement. In fact, historians generally refer to December 1st, 1955, the day Ms. Parks refused to give up her seat, as the beginning of the civil rights movement in America.

Ms. Parks's involvement with the civil rights movement didn't begin in 1955, however. Prior to that she had worked with the local chapter of the NAACP in Montgomery on a variety of civil rights issues including the state's voting policy. Her work with the civil rights movement did not end on that day in December of 1955 either. Rosa Parks continued to be an influential voice in the black community for years. After her husband's death in 1977 she established the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. The program focuses on opening up educational opportunities for young people, getting them registered to vote, and promoting racial harmony. She lectured across the country and was awarded the highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, by Bill Clinton in 1999.

Her life was an inspiration to all of us in the south and her courage will always be remembered. Thank you, Ms. Parks, for everything you accomplished in making this world a better place. The Almighty surely has a great place reserved for you in the Kingdom and we will always have a special place reserved for you in our hearts.

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Posted by everyman at October 26, 2005 12:55 AM | TrackBack

i think rosa parks did a great thing for the black people in america,today.she was a brave and courageous woman ,she will always be remembered.may her soul rest in peace.

Posted by: priscilla at November 8, 2005 12:43 PM
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