by lex, on Oct 25, 2005
And a long life, too, full of bravery and decency and standing up for what’s right.
Amazing how the world can be changed for the better by small acts of courage:
Nearly 50 years ago, Rosa Parks made a simple decision that sparked a revolution. When a white man demanded she give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, the then 42-year-old seamstress said no.
At the time, she couldn’t have known it would secure her a revered place in American history. But her one small act of defiance galvanized a generation of activists, including a young Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and earned her the title “mother of the civil rights movement.”
At a celebration in her honor (in 1988) she said: “I am leaving this legacy to all of you … to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die — the dream of freedom and peace.”
Amen, sister. Rest in peace.
Update: Apparently individual freedom of conscience and the right to interpret the world as one finds it are not among all the freedoms for which Rosa Parks successfully fought. It’s amazing to me that 50 years after Mrs. Parks risked her very life in the charged and racist atmosphere of the Jim Crow south by refusing to be defined by the color of her skin, others still maintain that Secretary of State Condi Rice ought to submit to the collective will of those who would seek to box her in by skin color.
Instead the message appears to be, “Get back across the color line, Madame Secretary – no one cares what you think.”