ROSA PARKS: 1913-2005
One day it was too much.
A quiet seamstress, not a young woman, was sitting down on the bus on her way home. She was certainly active, in a quiet way, in the civil rights movement, but sought no limelight.
The front of the bus was full, and more white people came in. The rules were, black people had to vacate the middle seats when that happened.
Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955. I was five years old.
The bus driver went back to tell the four black people sitting in the middle to move, so that a white man could sit down. Three of them moved. One did not.
She was nothing special. 42 years old, on her way home from work. She refused.
The bus driver threatened to call the police - she said, OK, do so. She was arrested. For respecting herself. For believing in herself. For refusing to bow to an allegedly superior people.
Today she died, at 92. Now, no one would think of trying to treat black people the way she was treated.
She had no children. We are all her children.
Let us be her memorial.