1/16/09

Wise Women Friday: Rosa Parks

Words of wisdom from Rosa Parks:

All I was trying to do was get home from work.*

It's not like Rosa Parks was the first African American to get arrested for sitting in the wrong part of the bus.  Plenty of African Americans got arrested, in part because African Americans always knew the difference between justice and injustice and partly because Montgomery had one crazy law.  The color barrier on Montgomery buses was fluid:  Whites in front, blacks in back, one empty row in between.  Where the front ended and the back started varied depending upon how many people were on the bus and what they happened to look like.  

The Montgomery chapter of the NAACP wanted to challenge that law.  But they needed the right person.  They wanted someone who would be respectable, middle class -- someone with unimpeachable character.  They did not want someone who worked for their own organization -- like Ms. Rosa Parks -- because they wanted the challenge to seem unscripted and unordained.  
But, one day, in 1955, the elastic color barrier on the bus moved.  And Rosa Parks did not.  She was just trying to get home from work.  And she just didn't want to move.  

It's fifty-three years later, and Mr. Obama is just about set to take his seat at the front of the bus.  It's not a perfect bus, and the rest of us, those riding along with him, are not perfect either. But the bus is moving forward.  Let's hope it stays on course.  Alleluia.  Amen.   

*Quoted in Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters. 

10 comments:

Cafe Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Petrea said...

Bless her, bless her. She was brave.

Bless the thousands of heroes and heroines over the years who stepped up with their bravery, even with their lives, and made this possible.

I will not let the naysayers dampen my joy in this time of rejoicing.

altadenahiker said...

My neighbor is having a party Tuesday morning. There are still Obama signs all over Altadena. I really have never seen such a thing.

Cafe Observer said...

A politician is very rarely ever higher & better regarded than the day he takes office.

Then, it's all...well, let's pray Obama is an xception since he's a local product.

altadenahiker said...

But what surprised me, CO, is how inclusive he was from the get-go. I really feared he was kind of like that old movie, "The Candidate," all form and no substance. I don't feel that way now. He has plans, and some are surprising, and very smart.

Cafe Observer said...

kb, basically they're all actors. And, we're they're dumb, willing audience.
I feel more confident if you were in office. A wise woman.

I do pray you're right, however, because in these times we don't need yet another politician.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Good-by George, thanks Rosa, I'm happy. Did you know there's a Rosa Parks station on the blue line? So cynical CO

Cafe Observer said...

Cynical from experience. And, probably saner!
I try to learn from hiStory.

But, I most welcome a politician who can bring us all together, w/o one side or the other complaining about who he brings into the big tent.

Cafe Observer said...

Beantown has Fosselmans! Oh woman, I hope they got the Taro Ice scream!

J&D said...



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