October 25, 2005

Remembrance: Rosa Parks


I can't believe I haven't blogged about this earlier. I don't know if anyone realises or has heard on the news but Rosa Parks died today aged 92. This lady was amazing. In an era where the white people treated coloured people like muck Rosa Parks stood up for what she thought was right. Through her action on that famous bus she sparked one of the most memorable peaceful protests of the 20th Century.

If you're reading this entry and thinking "Who was Rosa Parks? What bus? What action?" Then you REALLY (and I can't stress how much I mean this) need to go and read the various news articles on the 'net you can find. I'll provide a list at the end of this entry.

I am in awe of Rosa Parks and what her actions were the catalyst for. Her decision to stick with her seat on the bus and flout the law of the time was a brave one, especially for a 42-year-old seamstress. No-one can ever really know what was going through her mind at the time but whatever her thoughts were her actions proved true. She was arrested and presumbly beaten (though that's my own opinion, I have no factual back up for that, I'm guessing she would've been mistreated somehow though) but still she stood tall. Her confidence inspired others, not least of which was a certain Reverened Martin Luther King Junior who quickly rose to a position of leadership in what is known as the civil rights movement.

A movement which I have often wished was never necessary. A person is human when they have a human make-up. Skin colour is irrelevant. That there were people in this world who immediately deemed someone of a different skin colour as 'less-worthy' saddens me. What makes it worse is that I'm sure there are still far too many people with that thought running through their heads today. I hope Rosa Parks liked the world she had a hand in shaping.

All because she refused to give up her seat to a white man. At that time that took immense guts and courage. All I can think to add to this badly structured entry is something I spotted from the news story I linked to above and it's this:

Democratic Congressman John Conyers, from whom she worked in Detroit from 1965 until she retired in 1988, described her as "an almost saint-like person".

"She was very humble, she was soft-spoken, but inside she had a determination that was quite fierce."

Once you've finished this entry read the items from the BBC website (linked to above) to learn more about this impressive lady. Before you go though I want to mention this quote I spotted on the news story:

If you were involved in a situation where the odds were stacked against you, would you stand up for yourself? Would you make what you knew was the right decision despite knowing that doing so could wreck your life? Would you? You sure?

I'm not sure I would. I hope I would but I'm not sure. Rosa Parks did. And that deserves remembrance.

Besides that my life seems tiny, I'll update on me tomorrow.