Remembering Rosa Parks by Peggy Butler

People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired but that wasn’t true. I was not tired physically, I was not old . I was 42. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” -Rosa Parks-

Beneath the lush, golden sky symbolizing Washington, DC, a nostalgic haze looms across the terrain. On this evening, thousands wait in line at the Capitol rotunda to view the remains of Rosa McCauley Parks, the woman dubbed the “Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement” as she lay in state.

Hence, in writing this article, I thought it was only fitting to pay homage to a woman who displayed courage of the highest magnitude when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man on December 1, 1955. So without further adieu, I present “Remembering Mama Rosa.”

The winds of hate and turbulence seared the heart of the South in the 50s and 60s. It was a time when Blacks stopped shuffling to White America’s dance of servitude, and created their own waltz of deliverance from bondage. And the woman spearheading Blacks to freedom, after centuries of captivity was Rosa Parks.

From a distance, she appeared to the average person as just another Black woman. But there was nothing average about this Alabama native. She was articulate and exceedingly proud, a woman of regal bearing who had become leery of Alabama’s racist debauchery and wasn’t going to take it anymore.

Parks was on the surface a woman who called on love and vindication to quench the raging fire of discrimination. Moreover, her stance prompted the Montgomery Bus Boycott and catapulted Martin Luther King into prominence. By refusing to give up her seat, Parks stymied the waiting game that had become a popular stalling tactic among Southern Whites.