Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks, 1913-2005.

On a seemingly ordinary December evening in 1955, an African American seamstress named Rosa Louise Parks made history by refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus to a white passenger. Under ordinary circumstances, Mrs. Parks' refusal may not have attracted much attention, but the massive bus boycott that followed her arrest is today considered the beginning of the modern civil rights movement. Fifty years ago, Mrs. Parks probably didn't realize that her small act of civil disobedience would change the lives of millions of Americans, but it did. Though the agenda of the civil rights movement remains uncompleted, Rosa Parks lived to see the sweeping changes her actions helped bring about. Yesterday, she died in Detroit at age 92. Today's New York Times and Washington Post have full obituaries; in Parks' adopted hometown, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News both have extensive coverage with an emphasis on Parks' Detroit ties and local reaction to her death. There's not much I can say about Rosa Parks that others could say better, so I'll simply say that today I'm joining millions of others around the country and around the world in mourning an ordinary woman who made a profound difference. AMDG.


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