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Rosa Parks-Congressional Medal of Honor

DigiTrad:
IF YOU MISS ME AT THE BACK OF THE BUS
THE BALLAD OF MOMMA ROSA PARKS


Related threads:
BS: Rosa Parks Auction (4)
happy? – Dec 1 (Rosa Parks arrested) (6)
Lyr Add: Ballad of Rosa Parks (3)
Obit: Rosa Lee Parks 10/2005 (34)
Lyr Req: Ballad of Momma Rosa Parks (11)


Sapper_RE 06 May 99 - 01:50 PM
wayne l. 06 May 99 - 05:38 PM
Big Mick 06 May 99 - 08:45 PM
Sapper_RE 07 May 99 - 02:28 PM
Bri 07 May 99 - 06:32 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 08 May 99 - 02:19 AM
Sapper_RE 08 May 99 - 04:01 PM
Steve Latimer 10 May 99 - 01:10 PM
Bev and Jerry 10 May 99 - 01:50 PM
O'Boyle 11 May 99 - 01:46 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 11 May 99 - 02:38 AM
Sapper_RE 11 May 99 - 01:45 PM
LEJ 11 May 99 - 03:29 PM
The Shambles 11 May 99 - 06:53 PM
The Shambles 03 Feb 00 - 02:59 AM
paddymac 03 Feb 00 - 07:07 AM
GeorgeH 03 Feb 00 - 07:30 AM
Amos 03 Feb 00 - 10:04 AM
Wesley S 03 Feb 00 - 10:41 AM
raredance 06 Feb 00 - 12:43 AM
Pablo 06 Feb 00 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,Frankie 06 Feb 00 - 11:19 PM
Bev and Jerry 13 Feb 00 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Alan Chartock 28 Dec 00 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Caitrin @ Home 28 Dec 00 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,taela 05 Feb 04 - 08:04 PM
Leadfingers 05 Feb 04 - 08:12 PM
Callie2 05 Feb 04 - 08:35 PM
Cuilionn 06 Feb 04 - 12:45 PM
Walking Eagle 06 Feb 04 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Kathy 22 Feb 04 - 07:46 AM
Melani 22 Feb 04 - 07:29 PM
Peace 22 Feb 04 - 09:03 PM
Cool Beans 23 Feb 04 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,john becker 07 Apr 04 - 12:43 PM
Franz S. 07 Apr 04 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,checkersangel 19 Apr 04 - 03:53 PM
GUEST 01 Oct 04 - 09:43 AM
Azizi 01 Oct 04 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,Philippa 18 Oct 04 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,shuandra bethel 27 Oct 04 - 04:08 PM
Pauline L 27 Oct 04 - 05:53 PM
Azizi 27 Oct 04 - 07:55 PM
Azizi 27 Oct 04 - 08:02 PM
PoppaGator 28 Oct 04 - 06:06 PM
David Ingerson 28 Oct 04 - 08:34 PM
Bev and Jerry 29 Oct 04 - 12:34 AM
Tannywheeler 29 Oct 04 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Janelle R. Glass 06 Nov 04 - 02:21 AM
GUEST,emma xxxxxxxxxxxx 13 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM
Pauline L 25 Oct 05 - 10:51 AM
Pauline L 25 Oct 05 - 11:19 AM
Pauline L 25 Oct 05 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,small town teenager 12 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM
katlaughing 12 Apr 07 - 10:32 PM
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Subject: Rosa Parks
From: Sapper_RE
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:50 PM

It has just been announced here on BBC Radio 4 (I do not have a gogglebox) that Rosa Parks, (sorry if the spelling is wrong) the brave lady who refused to give up her seat, has been awarded the US Congessional Medal of Honour. Can my wife and I please be permitted to offer our congratulations? Considering the avalanche of Civil Rights legislation triggered by her act, this award was long overdue. If anyone reading this can pass the message on, thankyou. Bob & Val.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: wayne l.
Date: 06 May 99 - 05:38 PM

they might as well give her one. there were twenty of these medals given without merrit for actions by u.s. calvary troops who participated in the wounded knee masacre! that's more than was given to all those from the state of so. dakota who fought and died in the second world war!....humm?


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 May 99 - 08:45 PM

Just a note, the medal is a Congressional Gold Medal, not the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is only given to military personnel. The award Mrs. Parks is receiving is the highest award that can be given to a civilian. I have had the privilege of speaking with this real life hero on a number of occasions and I can tell you that she is an amazing human being, so full of love of humanity, that one is awestruck. This is partly due to her fame, but is more due to her presence, grace and understanding. I will see her again at some point and will pass along the best wishes of Sapper and his wife, as well as all Mudcatters.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Sapper_RE
Date: 07 May 99 - 02:28 PM

Thanks Mick!!! Bob & Val.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Bri
Date: 07 May 99 - 06:32 PM

I remember seeing her speak in kindergarten...how old is she???? Does ne one know?


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 08 May 99 - 02:19 AM

Someone as heroic--and beautiful--must have been immortalized in song. Anyone know one? --seed


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Sapper_RE
Date: 08 May 99 - 04:01 PM

According to the report on the Beeb that prompted me to start this thread, she's well into her Eighth Decade! May she have a few more birthdays yet! Bob.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 10 May 99 - 01:10 PM

There was a song about Rosa Parks approximately a decade ago. I believe it was called "Thank You Sister Rosa." I'm sorry that I can't tell you more other than I saw the video a few times on Much Music, Canada's equivalent to MTV. The video depicted the whole historic incident.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 10 May 99 - 01:50 PM

In 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, the municipal buses were segregated. The first four rows were reserved for whites only. If all the front seats were taken and more whites entered the bus, Negroes in the unreserved section had to turn their seats over to them. If a Negro found the unreserved section full and the white section empty, he had to stand in the aisle, gazing at the empty seats in front. A Montgomery city ordinance enforced the seating policy, and Negro violators could be fined and jailed.

Mrs. Rosa Parks was a 42 year old black lady who was a tailor's assistant or seamstress in a downtown department store. On December 1, 1955, she got on the bus at Court Square and sat in the first row behind the reserved white section. The white section filled up and a white man boarded the bus and had no place to sit. According to the law, all four Negroes in the row immediately behind the white section were to stand so the white man could sit, thereby extending the white section an additional row. The other three stood up but Rosa Parks refused to stand. The driver ordered her to stand and threatened to call the police. When she still refused to stand, she was arrested and booked for violating the city bus ordinance. She was immediately bailed out by E. D. Nixon, a regional official of The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a leader of the Montgomery and Alabama chapters of the NAACP.

Nixon called a 27 year old local minister at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On the night of December 2, they and about 50 other black leaders had a meeting at which it was decided that Negroes would boycott the Montgomery bus system beginning December 5. When the meeting ended, King said, "the clock on the wall read almost midnight, but the clock in our souls revealed that it was daybreak." On Monday, December 5 the boycott began and that night King was elected to head the Montgomery Improvement Association, a group organized to run the boycott and handle future racial difficulties as well.

The 50,000 Negroes in Montgomery constituted about 75% of the bus company's riders and the boycott was 98% effective. Many buses on lines in black areas ran totally empty.

The MIA negotiated with the city and the bus company with no results. Blacks stayed off the buses. To help them, Black taxi drivers carried Blacks to and from work charging only bus fare. On December 13, taxis were ordered to charge the regular rate so the MIA set up a network of volunteer Negro drivers to carry people for nothing. The boycott continued and whites tried all sorts of things to end it including threats of violence. On January 30, 1956, King's house was bombed. King was arrested and tried for violating a law prohibiting boycotts. On March 22 he was fined $500 and sentenced to 386 days at hard labor. He was freed on appeal. This brought national attention to King and to the boycott.

Meanwhile, Rosa Parks had been found guilty and fined $14. Her case was appealed by the NAACP and, on November 13, 1956, the local laws requiring segregation on buses were declared unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court. On December 20, 1956, the Supreme Court mandate finally reached Montgomery and early the next day, Martin Luther King and other black leaders boarded the first integrated bus in the history of Montgomery, Alabama and sat in the formerly all- white section. The 381 day boycott had ended and the Civil Rights Movement had been launched.

Reference: Oates, Stephen B., "Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.", New York, 1982, Harper & Row.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: O'Boyle
Date: 11 May 99 - 01:46 AM

I had the pleasure and honor of holding an umbrella for Ms Parks last year in a rainstorm at an appearence in L.A. It is one of my fondest memories.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 11 May 99 - 02:38 AM

It must have been, Rick. But does anyone know the above mentioned song, or any other(s) about her? --seed


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Sapper_RE
Date: 11 May 99 - 01:45 PM

Thankyou Bev & Jerry. My wife and I knew the basic background of the story and appreciate the more detailed information. My wife is currently on a pre-degree foundation course and has recently studied Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings and we both find the history of Civil Rights fascinating. Bob & Val


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: LEJ
Date: 11 May 99 - 03:29 PM

And some people say it's hard to find Heroes nowadays! Thanks to Bev and Jerry for recounting the story.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 May 99 - 06:53 PM

Let's just write her one anyway?

I'll stand up for Rosa Parks,
She didn't stand up for me and you.
You can have my seat, Rosa Parks,
It's the very least I can do.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 02:59 AM

I did hear a song on the BBC Radio 2 last night called 'Jericho' about this fine lady.

I didn't get details of who had written and who was singing it though.

Any one know?


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: paddymac
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 07:07 AM

The more that I have learned about Irish history the more understanding of and sympathetic to the American civil rights struggle I have become. I was reminded of the many paralles between the two by the use of the word "boycott" in the historical post above by Bev & Jerry. Here's an excerpt from The Oxford Companion to Irish History:

"Boycott, Capt. Hugh Cunningham (1832-1897). An English-born former soldier appointed agent for Lord Erne's Co. Mayo estates in 1873. Boycott came into conflict with the Land League at Lough Mask in 1880 and was the first prominent victim of Parnell's policy of consigning those who broke the league's code of conduct to 'moral coventry'. He responded by drafting in Ulster Orangemen to assist in farm work, but 1,000 troops were needed to protect them. The conflict made his name a synonym for social ostracism."

Amen!


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GeorgeH
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 07:30 AM

Interesting to note how the meaning of the word has changed from that recorded in the "Oxford Companion" . .

But above all thanks to Bev & Jerry for taking the trouble to "fill in the details" for us.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Amos
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:04 AM

I remember hearing Pete Seeger sing "I love you Authorine", about another heroine of the Civil Rights era (I think).

But didn't he also write or sing a tribute to Rosa Parks?

A


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Wesley S
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:41 AM

I think the song mentioned above about "Thankyou Sister Rosa Parks" is by the Neville Brothers. I can't remember the name of the CD but I 've got it and it's a good one. It came out within the last 4 or 5 years.


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Subject: add: THE BALLAD OF MOMMA ROSA PARKS
From: raredance
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 12:43 AM

THE BALLAD OF MOMMA ROSA PARKS
(Nick Venet and Buddy Mize, 1963)

In nineteen hundred and fifty five,
In a southern American town,
A tired colored lady got on a city bus
And immediately sat down,
With a closed mind and an opened mouth
The big bus driver got rough
And told his only passenger
To move to the back of the bus.

When Momma Parks sat down,
The whole world stood up,
What's good for one is good for all,
It's good for all of us.

The lady's name was Momma Rosa Parks,
A hard workin' woman indeed,
She was goin' home, 'twas her goin' time,
She had little hungry mouths to feed,
She wasn't botherin' nobody
And doin' nothin' wrong,
By the Lord's rules of love
When Momma Parks sat down
The whole world stood up.

printed in "Songs of Peace, Freedom and Protest" by Tom Glazer (1970, David McKay Company)

rich r
^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROSA PARKS (D. Williams)
From: Pablo
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 09:23 PM

Sorry this comes through unformatted--I'm a novice, still puzzling over the HTML tutorial in the Links section, trying multiple unsuccessful Blue Clickies in self-addressed e-mails.
I have the music here as well. Is it really not on the DT?

There's this, by D. Williams.

ROSA PARKS
(D. Williams)

In Montgomery Alabama not a long time ago
A black woman sat down on a bus
She was tired she did day work
She sewed clothes, her feet hurt
And since that day she changed the world for us.

CHORUS: Cause she said, "No sir, I won't get up."
"I'm tired and I want to sit down and I won't get up."
You can talk about Martin Luther King,
Have demonstrations and everything.
Just remember who began it, Rosa Parks.

In this wild and wicked world, tell me what kind of man
Would say to hard working woman, "Lady, get up."
She was just like me and you
And she did what she could do, she said... CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,Frankie
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 11:19 PM

Thanks Bev and Jerry, thats a story that needs telling over and over. Frankie

PS "Thank You Sister Rosa" was from YELLOW MOON and is mostly a rap by the Neville Brothers. Great CD


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROSA, OH, ROSA
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 08:39 PM

Here's a song we wrote about Rosa Parks:

ROSA, OH, ROSA
(Bev and Jerry Praver)

1. No I won't stand up I'm tired
All day long I stood on my feet
I earn my living just like you
I don't have to give up my seat

chorus:
No I won't stand up, I'm tired
No I won't stand up, I'm not gonna do it
No I won't stand up, I'm tired
No I won't stand up, that's all there is to it

2. No I won't stand up, I'm tired
Don't like you treating me this way
Jim Crow is riding on this bus
And the time has come to disobey

3. No I won't stand up, I'm tired
Oppression is at every hand
Disgrace and shame are everywhere
See if you can make me stand

4. But I will stand up for justice
I'll stand against all your attacks
And I will stand and shout the truth
And I'll stand up for the rights of blacks

final chorus:

Yes I will stand up, I'm tired
Yes I will stand up, I am not gonna do it
Yes I will stand up, I'm tired
Yes I will stand up, that's all there is to it


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,Alan Chartock
Date: 28 Dec 00 - 04:10 PM

What started this thread was reference to Authorine Lucy, a Pete Seeger song that began "I love you Authorine..." I've been looking for the words for years. Can anyone tell me where to find it? If you can reply directly to me at Alan@wamc.org as well as to the list I would appreciate it. Thank you.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MR. KING (Donna the Buffalo?)
From: GUEST,Caitrin @ Home
Date: 28 Dec 00 - 04:52 PM

I've got a song by Donna the Buffalo that's about Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King. It's a pretty cool song.

"Mr. King"
We've got your dream Mr King
It's in our hearts
We've got your dream Mr. King
And Ms. Rosa Parks
We've got your dream
Of peace, love and harmony
It's a vision of the way things have got to be

And we're gonna stand up
Stand up for what you know is right
And we're gonna never
Never give up the fight
You can see how far we have come
There's still a mighty battle to be won
We've been marching out from the past
To the lovely day when we're all free at last


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,taela
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 08:04 PM

thanks rosa parks for help ending segregation now me and my hispanic american friend can't ever seperate .Atleast not until middle school!


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 08:12 PM

Front of the Bus is one song I remember from the 'Good Old Days' of the Black Liberation era.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Callie2
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 08:35 PM

There's also a verse about Rosa Parks in a song by Luka Bloom called "Freedom Song".


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Cuilionn
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 12:45 PM

The American documentary series, "Eyes On The Prize", gies the background o Rosa's action. She wisnae a woman actin alane, nor wis she "jist tired" as folk tend tae say. The trowth o the matter is far mair inspirin, tae ma way o thinkin. Here's an excerpt:

"In 1955, the Women's Political Council had worked out plans for a bus boycott in Montgomery. All they needed was the right moment. Their hope was that soon the right person-- someone who could not only withstand the scrutiny and anger of whites but who could inspire black Montgomery to take action-- would be arrested. The organizers would then spread the news throughout the black community in hopes that enough people would respond to muster a boycott.

Early in 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin was dragged from a bus by police and arrested after she and an elderly woman refused to give up their seats... E.D. Nixon and the NAACP came to the girl's defense, and the association's Youth Council adviser, Rosa Parks, took a particular interest. She herself had been thrown off a Montgomery bus 11 years earlier for refusing to enter through the back door... Now Parks and Nixon, along with Jo Ann Robinson, wanted to take Colvin's case to federal court to demonstrate that segregated buses were illegal under the U.S. Constitution. They began to raise money for Colvin's defense and to arrange speaking engagements throughout the town to garner support..."

(It was eventually decided that Colvin's case would not make the best test case, and they began the search for a new representative.)

Rosa Parks, meanwhile, attended a workshop on race relations at the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee. Virginia Durr, wife of progressive white attorney Clifford Durr, had followed Parks' activist work for years and put up the money to send her to Highlander. The experience not only expanded her confidence and resolve, but showed Rosa Parks that "an atmosphere of complete equality" could be experienced and, perhaps, accomplished on a wider scale.)

When Rosa Parks sat doon on that bus on Dec. 1st, 1955, the bus driver was the same one who had thrawn her aff a bus 11 years before. When he askit her to get up & give her seat tae a white man, her refusal was nae simple act. She wis weel aware o the chance o arrest, an she kent there wis a need for anither "test case" tae set the community-wide action plan intae motion. Sure eno, when E.D. Nixon haird o her arrest, he gaet ahold o Clifford Durr & haed him ca the police & confirm that she'd been arrestit under segregation laws. Then Nixon raised bond, got Parks out of jail, and consultit wi her. Rosa Parks, after discussin the matter wi her husband & mither, agreed , "to let Nixon make her case into a cause."

Jo Ann Robinson, meanwhile, had gathered the leaders of the Women's Political Council thegither: "...they urged her to initiate the boycott in support of Parks, starting the following Monday, Parks; trial date. Robinson went to Alabama State College, cut stencils, and mimiographed 35,000 handbills. It took all night. In the morning she asked a few of her students to load the handbills into her car. She drove to elementary schools and high schools where students she had telephoned earlier were waiting. The students distributed the handbills in school to be taken home to parents...thousands of the anonymous leaflets passed secretly through Montgomery's black neighborhoods-- in stores, schools, bars, and churches."

      (all quotes taken from pages 63-70 of Juan Williams' book, "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965")

The boycott was on, and history was changed-- nae because o ane woman, actin alane, but because that woman was educated & supported by her community, employed by an activist organization, and empowered by deep convictions and a hunger for justice.

Noo, isnae that mair inspirin? Ye see, we can aa become activists-- an sustain oor activism-- by seekin the support o ithers an wairkin thegither. For those o us (especially women) whae wear oorsels oot tryin tae dae things single-haunditly, ah think the REAL story is muckle mair meaningful then the popular fiction o Rosa Parks as a "single woman, actin alane." Nane o us should be ashamit tae ask for ithers support in oor ventures--even famous activists dae it!

--Cuilionn

(By the way, Libby Roderick haes anither guid sang, "Rosa", that celebrates Rosa Parks & other African-American leaders. Ah'll gae luik for it on the DT, an post lyrics if Ah cannae find them.)


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 06 Feb 04 - 06:20 PM

Ms. Parks is 91.

Cuilionn is correct about her planned action. It would have been folly to not let the right people know what she was going to do. All protestors at that time, and still should have IMO, had a support network set up because things could go wrong.

Sister Parks was also quick to let others know during the boycott that many white folks helped black folks get rides and do other necessary things to support the boycott, often at peril to their well being.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,Kathy
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 07:46 AM

Mike O'connor at Lyngham House music has written an absolutley stunning song about her. Check it out


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Melani
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 07:29 PM

Re: Medals of Honor at Wounded Knee, etc.--they used to give the things out like candy--Tom Custer actually had two of them for the Civil War. They have tightened up the standards quite a bit; I think many, if not most of the people who get them nowadays are dead as the result of the action they are being honored for.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Peace
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 09:03 PM

Rosa Parks inspired a generation. She was and is a very courageous lady. Congratulations to her. It's about time.

It is my understanding that the highest military medal in the United States (for soldiers) is the Medal of Honor. Because it is awarded by the American congress, it is often called the Congressional M of H. However, that is a misnomer. Anyone, please correct me if my info is out to lunch.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Cool Beans
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 02:09 PM

The Henry Ford Museum here in Michigan bought the Rosa Parks bus a few years ago, restored it and has it on display.
Parks herself lives in Detroit and is revered.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,john becker
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 12:43 PM

How did u feel when u had 2 go 2 jail


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Franz S.
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 08:38 PM

Jon Fromer wrote and sings a song inspired by Rosa Parks. I can't find a website for him, but there's info about him through Google. I have the song on a tape of his called "We Do the Work". Words:

1955, that's a lifetime ago
Remember "I Like Ike", remember Jim Crow?
On a bus in Montgomery, a southern town
That black woman started something when she sat down

Chorus: My Feet are tired, my feet are tired
                My feet are tired but my soul is rested.

Thousands walk to work in the morning light
Thousands walk home through the rain at night
Every day for a week, every week for a month
Took more that a year before it was done

Cho.

If you'd have been there you could've heard people say
I always hoped my kids would see a better day
But lately I must say I've changed my mind
I want to see freedom in my time

Cho.

It's a slow song, and the chorus is powerful.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,checkersangel
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 03:53 PM

i was honestly looking up info on Rosa Parks, that's when i came to your web site. its very sweet for you all who are involved to do this. i liked the poems in there. and i got some of the info of her off of your website. thanx for your help.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks interesting facts
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 09:43 AM


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 08:37 PM

My memory of "If you miss me at the back of the bus" is slightly different than the one you have listed in the DigiTrad.

Here are the words that I sang along with others in while I was in a New Jersey NAACP youth group in the early 1960s:

If you don't find me in the back of the bus
If you don't see me back there
Come on up to the front of the bus
I'll be sittin up there
I'll be sittin up there
I'll be sittin up there
Come on up to the front of the bus
I'll be sittin up there.

If you don't see me in the school room
If you don't find me over there
Come on down to the jail house *
I'll be singin {prayin} in there
I'll be singin in there
I'll be singin in there
Come on down to the jail house.
I'll be singin in there.

*sung by or referred to college students who were arrested for spearheading/participating in protest sit-ins and other civil rights demonstrations

I'm pretty certain that this civil rights song {freedom song} was based on a spiritual, as were most African American civil rights songs, including "We Shall Overcome".

As a spiritual, "We'll Overcome" had a more uptempo beat than the civil rights song. As I remember it, the first verse was

We'll overcome
We'll overcome
We'll overcome someday
{Oh-o)deep in my heart {if in my heart}
I do believe {I do not yield}
We'll overcome some day.
--

Other verses I remember were "We'll wear a crown"; "We'll see his face"; and "We'll be like him"...

But that was a digression. What I wanted to say was that I love and respect Rosa Parks too. However, it is a shame that all those freedom fighters who came before her, along with her, and after her {with the exception of Dr. Martin Luther King} get so little recognition and respect.

I have read books that indicate that Mrs Park's refusal to get up from her seat was a planned protest. Furthermore, it is said that Rosa Park was selected to be the test case to challenge segregated seating in Montgomery, Alabama because it was thought that her light complexion and "middle class" air would make her a better symbol and spokesperson for that movement, and make her more sympathetic to the White Montgomery community.

All this takes nothing away from Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks as tired seamstress might be a better made for TV movie, and I'm sure she was physically, and emotionally tired of being treated like a 2nd class citizen. But I don't believe that her refusal to get up was a spontaneous decision. Instead, if this account is true as I believe it is, it shows how those fighting to remove laws and practices that upheld segregation have to strategize to meet their objectives.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 08:16 AM

new item in NYTimes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/18/national/18parks.html?ei=5094&en=027802446e7f1f37&hp=&ex=1098158400&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print&position=

October 18, 2004
Legal Cloud Lingers for Civil Rights Hero
By STEPHEN KINZER

DETROIT, Oct. 16 - Nearly half a century after Rosa Parks helped set off the American civil rights movement by refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus, she is at the center of a swirling legal controversy that her relatives say could forever taint her legacy.

Ms. Parks's relatives have squared off against her lawyer and caretaker over who can best protect her interests. The dispute is especially poignant because Ms. Parks, who is 91, may not even be aware of it. Her doctor recently asserted in a court document that she has dementia and cannot testify or be deposed.

The fight stems in part from litigation that has been filed in her name but that her relatives doubt she knows about. They say her longtime caretaker and confidante, Elaine Steele, and her lawyers are seeking monetary settlements for their own gain.

Ms. Steele is the co-founder of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, which could share in the proceeds from any settlement. She contends that the suits, over a song invoking her name, are meant to protect Ms. Parks's reputation. Her family argues that they trivialize it.

On Wednesday, the federal judge overseeing the suits, George Steeh, appointed one of Detroit's most respected residents, the former mayor Dennis Archer, to review the matter.

"Rosa Parks is a mother of the civil rights movement," said Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, who marched alongside her in protests in the 1960's. "It would be very unfortunate if people forgot her raw courage and remembered her as an elderly African-American lady who sued a rock band."

The story of how Ms. Parks reached this point combines heroism with pathos, and regal dignity with seething anger. It is tinged with racism and generous doses of jealousy.

Ms. Parks was a seamstress in Montgomery, Ala., when, on Dec.1, 1955, she defied segregation laws and insisted on sitting in the front section of a city bus, which was reserved for whites. Her actions led to a yearlong bus boycott that resulted in the integration of the bus system. It also helped focused worldwide attention on racism in the United States and brought the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to broad public attention for the first time.

Two years later, Ms. Parks left Alabama to join her brother in Detroit. She found low-paying work in a factory that manufactured dishrags. Ms. Steele, a young co-worker, became a friend and confidante. Years later, after Ms. Parks had regained a measure of prominence while the civil rights movement was being celebrated, she signed a document giving Ms. Steele her power of attorney.

Although Ms. Parks had no children, her brother had 13. They were close to her for years, but now complain that Ms. Steele has made it all but impossible for them to see her.

"It's gotten to this point over time,'' said Rhea D. McCauley, one of Ms. Parks's nieces. "Auntie Rosa does feel safe with Elaine. She's been in her life a long time. But if my aunt was still aware of things, she would never have allowed this lawsuit to go forward. She was very protective of her reputation, and now it's being besmirched by greed."

The suit involves a song called "Rosa Parks" that is a protest against the way recording companies treat artists. It does not mention Ms. Parks beyond the title, but it includes the line, "Ah ha, hush that fuss/ Everybody move to the back of the bus." The suit alleges that the song, recorded by the hip-hop group OutKast, defamed her and violated her trademark rights.

Mr. Archer, who is a former justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and immediate past president of the American Bar Association, said the judge's order "really came out of the blue."

"He called, asked me if I could do it, and I said I would," he said. "I plan to make sure her interests are exceptionally well represented."

The lawyer who has been representing Ms. Parks, Gregory Reed, did not return messages left at his office. Ms. Steele declined to be interviewed but referred inquiries to another of her lawyers, Shirley Kaigler, who said Judge Steeh's order "does not appear to be appropriate."

"I'm not the attorney in that matter, but looking over the order, I'm confident Greg and the legal team will file a motion for reconsideration," Ms. Kaigler said. "Ms. Parks has designated legal representation. This order appears to trump that. I have no idea what Mr. Archer is supposed to do."

Ms. Kaigler said she could not discuss Ms. Parks's physical or mental condition because doing so would violate her privacy. Others, however, describe her as feeble.

"She was fairly lucid when I interviewed her in the late 90's, but when I came back six months later, her health had greatly deteriorated," said Douglas Brinkley, author of "Rosa Parks," a biography that is part of the Penguin Lives series. "At this point, I really don't think she knows much of what is going on."

"On one hand, I respect the group around her because they are gatekeepers," Mr. Brinkley said. "Everyone wants a piece of her, so she needs that. But they picked the wrong case with OutKast. It's a questionable lawsuit that taints her legacy. In part it's a reflection of the feeling that many African-Americans have, from Chuck Berry to Martin Luther King's family, that they've been ripped off by white America."

OutKast and the entertainment conglomerate BMG Entertainment were the original targets of the lawsuit, but last summer Judge Steeh excluded OutKast as a defendant, saying the plaintiff had not named members of the group or complied with other legal requirements. A second suit, filed this summer, seeks $5 billion from various record companies for the OutKast song, and from Borders and Barnes & Noble for distributing the recording.

At least some of the proceeds from any settlement or judgment in these lawsuits would presumably go to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. It raises money for social and educational projects. Raymond Parks is Ms. Parks's late husband.

Ms. Parks's nieces and nephews issued a statement on Saturday charging that Ms. Steele and Mr. Reed had filed the lawsuits for "personal gain and selfish motives."

"If our aunt was of physical and mental capacity, we believe she would appreciate the talented group of young men that meant only to pay tribute to her legacy," the statement said.

In his two-page order, Judge Steeh did not say why he was taking the unusual step of bringing Mr. Archer into the case, but he indicated some irritation at Mr. Reed and Ms. Steele. He rejected Mr. Reed's contention that Ms. Parks already had a legal guardian, saying Mr. Reed "does not identify this phantom individual, and a review of this record reveals no such appointment has previously occurred.''

The judge said Mr. Reed may have been referring to Ms. Steele as the guardian, but "she is not an attorney who would be able to assess independently the merits of the many disputes.''

J. Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which produced a documentary about Ms. Parks in 2002, said he viewed the dispute as "a mixed thing.''

"Ms. Steele met Ms. Parks at a time when she was not being represented or helped by anyone,'' Mr. Cohen said. "Some might say that she could have had a more skilled or more sophisticated agent, but this woman stepped in at a time when others didn't.''

Mr. Cohen added: "I feel sorry for Ms. Parks, and I'm glad to see Dennis Archer involved. He's a man of sterling reputation. I'm sure he'll get to the bottom of it.''


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,shuandra bethel
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 04:08 PM

Mrs. rosa parks i love your good stories about you woun'nt give up your seat to a white man after a long day of work so you got arrested for not giving up your seat but i feel sorry about martin luther king and I have my reading book at school and i have your story in my book with all the letters the kids wrote to you and you were telling them about the hard work in life.the school am at is broward estastes elementary school.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Pauline L
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 05:53 PM

"However, it is a shame that all those freedom fighters who came before her, along with her, and after her {with the exception of Dr. Martin Luther King} get so little recognition and respect."

I've always regarded Rosa Parks as both a heroine in her own right and a symbol of the many anonymous "ordinary folks" whose courage had revolutionary effects.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 07:55 PM

Shuandra Bethel,

Thanks for your comment and welcome to The Mudcat Cafe!

Pauline L, I agree with your statement about respecting both Rosa Parks and others who had {and continue to have}the courage to take a stand for their beliefs.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 08:02 PM

Well, "taking a stand" is not the best analogy to use for Rosa Parks' refusing to give up her seat on the bus, but I was talking in generalities, and you knew what I meant,right? Right on! Right on!


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 06:06 PM

"Thank You Sister Rosa" was indeed recorded by the Neville Brothers, on their 1989 CD "Yellow Moon." Youngest brother Cyril sings lead and, I believe, wrote the song. The video was directed by Jonathan Demme. (I think this is the only video ever produced for a Neville Brothers song.)


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: David Ingerson
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 08:34 PM

There was a reference in the above news article (?) to Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus. If my memory serves me correctly she was actually sitting in the back of the bus. Her "crime" was refusing to give up her seat to a white person.

We need more people like her.

David


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 12:34 AM

In 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, the municipal buses were segregated. The first four rows were reserved for whites only. If all the front seats were taken and more whites entered the bus, Negroes in the unreserved section had to turn their seats over to them. If a Negro found the unreserved section full and the white section empty, he had to stand in the aisle, gazing at the empty seats in front. A Montgomery city ordinance enforced the seating policy, and Negro violators could be fined and jailed.

Mrs. Rosa Parks was a 42 year old black lady who was a tailor's assistant or seamstress in a downtown department store. On December 1, 1955, she got on the bus at Court Square and sat in the first row behind the reserved white section. The white section filled up and a white man boarded the bus and had no place to sit. According to the law, all four Negroes in the row immediately behind the white section were to stand so the white man could sit, thereby extending the white section an additional row. The other three stood up but Rosa Parks refused to stand. The driver ordered her to stand and threatened to call the police. When she still refused to stand, she was arrested and booked for violating the city bus ordinance. She was immediately bailed out by E. D. Nixon, a regional official of The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a leader of the Montgomery and Alabama chapters of the NAACP.

Nixon called a 27 year old local minister at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On the night of December 2, they and about 50 other black leaders had a meeting at which it was decided that Negroes would boycott the Montgomery bus system beginning December 5. When the meeting ended, King said, "the clock on the wall read almost midnight, but the clock in our souls revealed that it was daybreak." On Monday, December 5 the boycott began and that night King was elected to head the Montgomery Improvement Association, a group organized to run the boycott and handle future racial difficulties as well.

The 50,000 Negroes in Montgomery constituted about 75% of the bus company's riders and the boycott was 98% effective. Many buses on lines in black areas ran totally empty.

The MIA negotiated with the city and the bus company with no results. Blacks stayed off the buses. To help them, Black taxi drivers carried Blacks to and from work charging only bus fare. On December 13, taxis were ordered to charge the regular rate so the MIA set up a network of volunteer Negro drivers to carry people for nothing. The boycott continued and whites tried all sorts of things to end it including threats of violence. On January 30, 1956, King's house was bombed. King was arrested and tried for violating a law prohibiting boycotts. On March 22 he was fined $500 and sentenced to 386 days at hard labor. He was freed on appeal. This brought national attention to King and to the boycott.

Meanwhile, Rosa Parks had been found guilty and fined $14. Her case was appealed by the NAACP and, on November 13, 1956, the local laws requiring segregation on buses were declared unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court. On December 20, 1956, the Supreme Court mandate finally reached Montgomery and early the next day, Martin Luther King and other black leaders boarded the first integrated bus in the history of Montgomery, Alabama and sat in the formerly all-white section. The 381 day boycott had ended and the Civil Rights Movement had been launched.

Reference: Oates, Stephen B., "Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.", New York, 1982, Harper & Row.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 05:12 PM

God surely blessed America when He decreed Rosa Parks would live here.   Tw


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,Janelle R. Glass
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 02:21 AM

Dear Mrs. Parks

I hope that you get this message soon…
In 1999 won the Henderson Community College Princess contest part of the University of Kentucky Home Coming Court.
As the group of use young ladies got ready to leave the hotel and enter the stadium, a charter BUS came to pick us up. God blessed me as an black female with the opportunity to sit in the FRONT of the Bus with a Tiara on my head and thought about how happy Mrs. Park would be if she seen me, and that brought a smile to my face.

This would not have happen without you and thank you! P.S. There two black females that won that year.

Sincerely,

Ms. Glass


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Subject: ADD: Sister Rose (Neville Brothers)
From: GUEST,emma xxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM

Sister Rosa
a song/rap from the Yellow Moon album
by The Neville Brothers
A&M Records 1989

SISTER ROSA
(written and recorded by the Neville Brothers)

December lst 1955 our freedom movement came alive
And because of Sister Rose
We don't ride on the back of the bus no more
Sister Rose she was tired one day
After a hard day on her job
When all she wanted was a well deserved rest
Not a scene from an angry mob
A bus driver say, `Lady you got to get up
`cos a white person wants that seat'
But Miss Rosa she say, `No not no more
I'm gonna stay and rest my feet'

Thank you Miss Rosa, you are the spark
That started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks

The police came. Without fail,

and took Sister Rosa off to jail
and fourteen dollars was her fine.
Brother Martin Luther King knew it was our time
The people of Montgomery sat down to talk
It was decided all god's children should walk
The senators were brought to their knees
and we are claiming freedom and equality

Thank you Miss Rosa, you are the spark
That started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks

Thought this might interest you all.Im studying it at school and find the story of siter rosa very interesting. I admire this woman emmencly. girl power!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Pauline L
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 10:51 AM

In honor of the memory of a great woman.

Rosa Parks died yesterday. Here is what the New York Times


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Pauline L
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 11:19 AM

In memoriam to a great woman

Rosa Parks died yesterday. Here is part of an article in the New York Timesabout her.


"Rosa Parks, a black seamstress whose refusal to relinquish her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., almost 50 years ago grew into a mythic event that helped touch off the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's, died yesterday at her home in Detroit. She was 92 years old.

[...]

For her act of defiance, Mrs. Parks was arrested, convicted of violating the segregation laws and fined $10, plus $4 in court fees. In response, blacks in Montgomery boycotted the buses for nearly 13 months while mounting a successful Supreme Court challenge to the Jim Crow law that enforced their second-class status on the public bus system.

The events that began on that bus in the winter of 1955 captivated the nation and transformed a 26-year-old preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. into a major civil rights leader. It was Dr. King, the new pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, who was drafted to head the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization formed to direct the nascent civil rights struggle.

"Mrs. Parks's arrest was the precipitating factor rather than the cause of the protest," Dr. King wrote in his 1958 book, "Stride Toward Freedom. "The cause lay deep in the record of similar injustices."

Her act of civil disobedience, what seems a simple gesture of defiance so many years later, was in fact a dangerous, even reckless move in 1950's Alabama. In refusing to move, she risked legal sanction and perhaps even physical harm, but she also set into motion something far beyond the control of the city authorities. Mrs. Parks clarified for people far beyond Montgomery the cruelty and humiliation inherent in the laws and customs of segregation.

That moment on the Cleveland Avenue bus also turned a very private woman into a reluctant symbol and torchbearer in the quest for racial equality and of a movement that became increasingly organized and sophisticated in making demands and getting results.

"She sat down in order that we might stand up," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said yesterday in an interview from South Africa. "Paradoxically, her imprisonment opened the doors for our long journey to freedom."

For her act of defiance, Mrs. Parks was arrested, convicted of violating the segregation laws and fined $10, plus $4 in court fees. In response, blacks in Montgomery boycotted the buses for nearly 13 months while mounting a successful Supreme Court challenge to the Jim Crow law that enforced their second-class status on the public bus system.

The events that began on that bus in the winter of 1955 captivated the nation and transformed a 26-year-old preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. into a major civil rights leader. It was Dr. King, the new pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, who was drafted to head the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization formed to direct the nascent civil rights struggle.

"Mrs. Parks's arrest was the precipitating factor rather than the cause of the protest," Dr. King wrote in his 1958 book, "Stride Toward Freedom. "The cause lay deep in the record of similar injustices."

Her act of civil disobedience, what seems a simple gesture of defiance so many years later, was in fact a dangerous, even reckless move in 1950's Alabama. In refusing to move, she risked legal sanction and perhaps even physical harm, but she also set into motion something far beyond the control of the city authorities. Mrs. Parks clarified for people far beyond Montgomery the cruelty and humiliation inherent in the laws and customs of segregation.

That moment on the Cleveland Avenue bus also turned a very private woman into a reluctant symbol and torchbearer in the quest for racial equality and of a movement that became increasingly organized and sophisticated in making demands and getting results.

"She sat down in order that we might stand up," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said yesterday in an interview from South Africa. "Paradoxically, her imprisonment opened the doors for our long journey to freedom."

[...]

One legend had it that she was a cleaning woman with bad feet who was too tired to drag herself to the rear of the bus. Another had it that she was a "plant" by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The truth, as she later explained, was that she was tired of being humiliated, of having to adapt to the byzantine rules, some codified as law and others passed on as tradition, that reinforced the position of blacks as something less than full human beings.

[...]

After a confrontation in 1943, a driver named James Blake ejected Mrs. Parks from his bus. As fate would have it, he was driving the Cleveland Avenue bus on Dec. 1, 1955. He demanded that four blacks give up their seats in the middle section so a lone white man could sit. Three of them complied.

[...]

Her arrest was the answer to prayers for the Women's Political Council, which was set up in 1946 in response to the mistreatment of black bus riders, and for E. D. Nixon, a leading advocate of equality for blacks in Montgomery.

Blacks had been arrested, and even killed, for disobeying bus drivers. They had begun to build a case around a 15-year-old girl's arrest for refusing to give up her seat, and Mrs. Parks had been among those raising money for the girl's defense. But when they learned that the girl was pregnant, they decided that she was an unsuitable symbol for their cause.

[...]

While Mr. Nixon met with lawyers and preachers to plan an assault on the Jim Crow laws, the women's council distributed 35,000 copies of a handbill that urged blacks to boycott the buses on Monday, Dec. 5, the day of Mrs. Parks's trial.

"Don't ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday," the leaflet said.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, the announcement was made from many black pulpits, and a front-page article in The Montgomery Advertiser, a black newspaper, further spread the word.

Some blacks rode in carpools that Monday. Others rode in black-owned taxis that charged only the bus fare, 10 cents. But most black commuters - 40,000 people - walked, some more than 20 miles.

At a church rally that night, blacks unanimously agreed to continue the boycott until these demands were met: that they be treated with courtesy, that black drivers be hired, and that seating in the middle of the bus go on a first-come basis.

The boycott lasted 381 days, and in that period many blacks were harassed and arrested on flimsy excuses. Churches and houses, including those of Dr. King and Mr. Nixon, were dynamited.

Finally, on Nov. 13, 1956, in Browder v. Gayle, the Supreme Court outlawed segregation on buses. The court order arrived in Montgomery on Dec. 20; the boycott ended the next day. But the violence escalated: snipers fired into buses as well as Dr. King's home, and bombs were tossed into churches and into the homes of ministers.

Early the next year, the Parkses left Montgomery for Hampton, Va., largely because Mrs. Parks had been unable to find work, but also because of disagreements with Dr. King and other leaders of the city's struggling civil rights movement."

She has always been a heroine to me. She was neither famous nor powerful before she gave up her seat on the bus, but her action was a small wave before a large flood. She did something seemingly small, but it accomplished so much.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: Pauline L
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 11:22 AM

I'm copying this to a new thread on Rosa Parks obit.


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: GUEST,small town teenager
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM

Wow you guys sure seem to know a bunch about Rosa Parks- the best lady in history might i add- i just thought id post a message and ask you guys if you know what her middle name was?
Possibly?? If you can come up with it i would be very grateful. Thanks so much and have fun
Bye!
                Sierra


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Subject: RE: Rosa Parks
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:32 PM

Here ya go: Rosa Louise McCauley was her name at birth.


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