Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks

I'm still a bit stunned by the "breaking news" that headed the late newscast tonight -- Civil Rights matriarch Rosa Parks has passed away at the age of 92. She has been known as the mother of the Civil Rights movement since she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in December 1955. The movement culminated in the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, which banned racial discrimination in public accommodations. Sadly, I don't think most kids today -- black or white -- understand the importance of her actions, the influence she had and the way she shaped this nation. May her deeds never be forgotten!


Laura said...

That's so sad, H.

But I agree with you about today's kids (okay, so I'm not much older than they are!) For example, we teach our kids here in Oz about Federation (1901) and how it came about. But we don't teach them why. Nor do we teach our kids nearly enough about the Aboriginal way of life here in Oz. Up until I hit my 20s, I knew more about World War 1&2 than the Stolen generation (they removed Aboriginal children from their birth mothers, for their own good apparently (WT-?)) - something the Prime Minister refuses to apologise for. (A PM who wants to introduce home detention for anyone with the flu or anyone suspected of terrorist acts, mind you. What the heck is happening here in Oz?)Ooh, sorry, ranting now.

But I will say this, when I was a kid, history didn't appeal. It's only as I get older and need to be more connected with the world I live in that I read about it. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Marilyn said...

I've lived in Alabama for the past 25 years. When my husband first told me we were moving here, my first thought was "Over my dead body." My memories were of tv footage of snarling police dogs and the governor standing in the university doorway. But as I learned more about my new home, I learned about Rosa Parks and others like her who quietly but bravely fought for civil rights. In my book, she epitomizes the word "bravery."