Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks Dies At 92.

Rosa Parks died in her home of natural causes in her home Monday evening with close friends by her side. She was 92.

Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955 sparked the Civil Rights movement. Jim Crow laws, which had been in place since after the Civil War required the separation of races in public life throughout the South, as well as some places in the North.

Parks had been active in the Montgomery, Alabama chapter of the NAACP when on December 1st, 1955 refused to give up her seat to a white man. Parks was arrested and jailed for her actions, and fined fourteen dollars.

In 1992 Parks said that history books frequently state “that my feet were hurting and I didn’t know why I refused to stand up when they told me. But the real reason of my not standing up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passenger. We had endured that kind of treatment for too long.”

Park’s arrested triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus system, organized by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Looking back on it, Parks said, “At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.”

Parks actions culminated in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed public discrimination.

Ten years ago this month Parks spoke at the Million Man March, addressing a new generation of Civil Rights activists. In 1996 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 1999 was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

At a celebration in her honor in 1988, Parks 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.”


Post a Comment

<< Home