Rosa Parks: More Militant than Meek

Charles Blow at the NY Times, brings to view a new book on the woman whose Civil Rights fame is second only to Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks.  She was not, it turns out, the humble seamstress she is often portrayed as being.  She had long rankled at the treatment of her family and friends by whites.  She talked back and on more than one occasion was restrained by those older and more experienced.

When she was a child, a young white man taunted her. In turn, she threatened him with a brick. Her grandmother reprimanded her as “too high-strung,” warning that Rosa would be lynched before the age of 20. Rosa responded, “I would be lynched rather than be run over by them.”

the idea that she stayed seated on the famous bus ride because of physical fatigue is pure fiction.

“I didn’t tell anyone my feet were hurting,” the book quotes her as saying. “It was just popular, I suppose because they wanted to give some excuse other than the fact that I didn’t want to be pushed around.”

The book also lays out Parks’s leading role in the bus boycotts and her decades of activism after the civil rights movement.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, by Jeanne Theoharis, you might want to read it.

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