The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 October 2005

A seat in heaven

Rosa Parks, whose refusal to go along with one of Jim Crow's more asinine decrees helped to precipitate the American civil-rights movement in 1955, has died in Detroit at the age of 92.

On 1 December 1955 Parks boarded a Montgomery, Alabama bus and sat with three other blacks in the fifth row, the first row that blacks could occupy. A few stops later, the front four rows were filled with whites, and one white man was left standing. Under the segregation laws, blacks and whites could not occupy the same row, so the driver asked all four of the blacks seated in the fifth row to move. Three did so; but Parks refused, was arrested, and subsequently fined.

A one-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system was planned in protest, and when almost the entire black community joined in, the boycott was continued; and it didn't end until a year later, when the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was a violation of the Constitution.

In the grand scheme of things, it was a small step, but first steps often are — and you don't get anywhere unless you take them.

La Shawn Barber has links to lots of blog reaction.

Posted at 8:10 AM to Almost Yogurt


TrackBack: 9:20 AM, 25 October 2005
» Rosa Parks, 1913-2005 from La Shawn Barber's Corner
Call her “the woman who refused to get up,” but I’m sure Rosa Parks had no idea what her tired feet and frustrating treatment would lead to on December 1, 1955. What became known as the Civil Rights movement was bound to start soone......[read more]

TrackBack: 12:09 AM, 26 October 2005
» Rosa Lee Parks, 1931-2005 from Tel-Chai Nation
Rosa Parks, one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement for minorities, who's famous for her refusal to vacate her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus at the time they were running discriminatory laws against blacks in the southern states, has pas......[read more]

You need to work on your metaphors: it wasn't a small step, it was a complete refusal to take any step, large or small.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at 8:34 PM on 26 October 2005

If I described her exact physical movements, it wouldn't be a metaphor at all, would it?

Posted by: CGHill at 8:38 PM on 26 October 2005