Montgomery Bus Boycott, N.A.A.C.P., and Rosa Parks (1913.02.04)

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A civil rights activist whose defiance compelled the Supreme Court to declare that discrimination in public transportation is legally invalid, Rosa Parks was born on this date in 1913.  You are invited to salute Rosa Parks on her birthday during Crosscurrents, 1/04 at 8 am.

I hope that the radio show is good enough for the fine memory of Rosa Parks.  You can let me know by commenting after you listen.  http://www.krnn.org

Ms. Parks was not the first African-American woman to be arrested for refusing to yield her seat on a Montgomery bus.

Nine months before Parks was jailed, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin was the first Montgomery bus passenger to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat for a white passenger. (Parks was involved in raising defense funds for Colvin.) Three other African-American women—Aurelia Browder, Mary Louise Smith and Susie McDonald—also ran afoul of the bus segregation law prior to Parks. The four were plaintiffs in the Browder v. Gayle case that resulted in the Supreme Court ruling bus segregation unconstitutional.

       Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist before her arrest.  Parks was a long-time member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which she joined in 1943.

        Ms. Parks was not sitting in a whites-only section.  Parks was sitting in the front row of a middle section of the bus open to African Americans if seats were vacant. After the “whites-only” section filled on subsequent stops and a white man was left standing, the driver demanded that Parks and three others in the row leave their seats. While the other three eventually moved, Parks did not.

Rosa Parks quotes

*  You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.

*  Each person must live their life as a model for others.

*  The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

*  Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.

*  I believe there is only one race – the human race.

*  Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.

*   What really matters is not whether we have problems, but how we go through them. We must keep going on to make it through whatever we are facing.

*  As long as people use tactics to oppress or restrict other people from being free, there is work to be done.

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