But I also pay her my respects by refusing to let her legacy be turned into a caricature. I believe her story is more relevant than ever because she and people like her laid a foundation so that women today can be more vocal, can run for office, can demand equal rights and equal pay, and say we don't have to be harassed.
People were screaming at her like she was Michael Jackson.
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The whole time Auntie Rosa was sitting there, like "Oh it's not a big deal. I know, it sounds crazy that that whole time I didn't understand, but, you see, she was just my aunt in my life. She would come visit, or I would go visit her, and she would ask me the same questions your aunt probably asks you: "What do you want to eat? What do you want to drink?
I made some lemonade — you want some? How's school? I talked to your grandmother and she says she ain't heard from you. After that NAACP event, that's when I started asking her questions about what she witnessed, what she endured, and what life was like for black people back then. That led to her telling me a lot of stories. She'd tell me what her life was like when she was a little girl growing up in Alabama.
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One of the things that people don't understand about my aunt is that she was an activist her whole life and she started questioning things at a young age. I think part of it was her upbringing with her grandfather, Sylvester Edwards. He would sit up at night with a shotgun — in case the KKK might come by and try to kill them — and talk to her about black resistance and the key figures in it: Crispus Attucks, Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey.
That laid the foundation for my aunt to feel like, "This isn't right. I should be doing something and becoming an activist.
When she was 10, a white boy pushed Auntie Rosa, and she pushed him back. Auntie Rosa's grandmother told her, "You need to be quiet, you need to stop being so vocal. But Auntie Rosa told her grandmother, "Let them try to lynch me. Sometimes I struggle with social media because it seems there's always somebody belittling Auntie Rosa.
I recently saw someone post that my aunt wasn't really black. Or people say that she was strategically placed on the bus in Montgomery because she was lighter skinned. It's amazing to me that they would think that. Yes, our family ancestry is part African American, part white, and part Native American. Auntie Rosa considered herself black and was treated as black. We have a lot of work to do in this country regarding colorism, but whether you're light or dark — and this is still true today — you are black in America and you're going to be treated accordingly.
People also think that her not giving up her seat was all a planned, staged thing for the media. Maybe you've seen that famous picture of my aunt getting arrested and the man fingerprinting her — well, that's not even from Dec. It's from the second time she was arrested.
Rosa Parks - Life, Bus Boycott & Death - Biography
Yes, she got arrested more than once. By the time that photograph was taken, word had gotten out across the country that Montgomery had started a bus boycott.
So that's when the media showed up to take a picture. My aunt wasn't even paying attention that day she got on the bus. She had been avoiding that driver's bus for 12 years. He would stop at her stop and she wouldn't get on. That particular day she wasn't paying attention because she was thinking of Emmett Till, who had been murdered that summer. She already paid her money when she realized it was that same driver, but then she figured she'd go ahead and sit down.
She didn't stand up when the driver demanded that she stand up because she kept thinking of him being killed. She was that angry. Keep in mind, it was legal for bus drivers back then to carry handguns — my aunt could have been shot and killed on that bus. Once word of mouth spread about what happened to my aunt, it helped people have a little bit more courage than before. You have to understand, my aunt was a known person in the community.
She became the recording secretary for the NAACP almost 15 years before she refused to give up her seat on that bus. Everyone knew her based off of her writing down stories like Recy Taylor's: Oh, she was the lady who held my hand when my uncle got beat up. She got my kid involved in a youth program to read books. She was the one who came and tried to get me to register to vote. They were shocked that something could happen to nice Mrs.
Doctor Who: Why has the Rosa Parks episode got people talking?
Before then, many black people were like, "Oh well, that person should have not got arrested. She is the first living person to be honored with a holiday. She was voted by Time Magazine as one of the most Influential people of the 20th century. A Museum and Library is being built in her honor, in Montgomery, AL and will open in the fall of the year ground breaking April 21, On September 2, The Rosa L.
Through the use of computer technology, youth will mentor seniors on the use of computers. Parks was a member of the first graduating class on November 24, On September 26, Mrs. Parks received a unanimous bipartisan standing ovation when President William Jefferson Clinton acknowledged her. Bill on February 4, , which would award Mrs. The bill was passed unanimously in the Senate on April 19, and with one descenting vote in the House of Representatives on April President Clinton signed it into law on May 3, Parks was one of only individuals at the time, including the American Red Cross to receive this honor.
President Nelson Mandela is also listed among the select few of world leaders who have received the medal. In the winter of Mrs. Louis, MO and read a statement to him asking for racial healing. Parks was arrested December 1, It opened on the 45th Anniversary of her arrest and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Parks was an International Institute Heritage Hall of fame honoree. On February 4, Mrs. Parks 91st birthday was celebrated at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. On December 21, the 49th Anniversary of the Mrs. Parks arrest. February 6, Mrs.
Reed, Dear Mrs. A quiet exemplification of courage, dignity, and determination; Rosa Parks was a symbol to all to remain free. Rosa Parks made her peaceful transition October 24, Search for:.