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READER COMMENTS ON
"Rosa Parks...In Memoriam..."
(24 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... Jose Chung said on 10/24/2005 @ 9:11 pm PT...
My wish is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton not be invited to the funeral of this great woman.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
... BUSHW@CKER said on 10/24/2005 @ 9:11 pm PT...
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
... BUSHW@CKER said on 10/24/2005 @ 9:12 pm PT...
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
... Jo said on 10/24/2005 @ 9:59 pm PT...
God bless her.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
... KestrelBrighteyes said on 10/24/2005 @ 10:05 pm PT...
Rest in peace, dear lady.
I was too young to remember when you took your stand, but your courage to fight for justice and equality, and all the events that followed as a result, touched a young white girl in a small town in Alabama, and it helped change me into what I am today.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
... Jo said on 10/24/2005 @ 10:07 pm PT...
Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. released the following statement tonight on the death of Rosa Parks:
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of our national treasurers, Rosa Parks. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
"Rosa Parks became the 'Mother of the Civil Rights Movement' because 50 years ago she sat down, and inspired a modern Civil Rights Movement to stand up. She took the 1954 Brown decision's principle of 'equal protection under
the law' to public transportation. That major step led us to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1968 Open Housing Act - all of which helped make America a better nation.
"She was a very small woman who had a big impact."
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
... Shannon Williford said on 10/25/2005 @ 5:06 am PT...
Thank you Miss Rosa
You are the spark
Started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks...
from The Neville Brothers song,
"Thank You Miss Rosa"
CD titled YELLOW MOON - 1987
That's today's listening selection for me.
She was a brave american who brought liberty to america without firing a shot, without killing anyone, and without lies.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
... HalfEmpty said on 10/25/2005 @ 9:15 am PT...
While Rosa Parks is an icon of the civil rights movement. I think it is important to remember the heroic people who were arrested for exactly the same crime before she was, but did so knowing that the NAACP would not be there to back them up. While Rosa Parks is an icon I think it is important to remember that she is an icon that represents the struggle of many forgotten people. It was those forgotten people that changed the political climate to make the Rosa Parks story possible. We could sure use some forgotten people today.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
... merifour said on 10/25/2005 @ 10:49 am PT...
God Bless Rosa Parks. I doubt her motive was to become a national icon, when she took her seat on the bus. I agree with #9 that there are so many heros that we never acknowledge. She is indeed a symbol, but an example that one person can make a difference. How many more years would the struggle have gone on had she not done what she did. Americans needs heros and sadly we have so few anymore. We may not know the forgtten peoples' names, but God does, and I know they are
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
... run said on 10/25/2005 @ 1:41 pm PT...
rosa parks...forever a giant.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
... Kenneth, Sherman Oaks, California said on 10/26/2005 @ 9:59 am PT...
My wish is that the dignity of Mrs. Parks' funeral not be compromised by tirades from Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan. I also hope that Jesse is unable to push the "career" of his ill-trained, would-be singer/daughter, Santita, by having her "perform." Such self-serving indulgences would demean an nation's farewell to one of the most influential architects of its history
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
... i would like my name unknown said on 10/26/2005 @ 11:39 am PT...
Although I may be a small girl in this big world. but I do aknowledge the fact that Rosa Parks died she was such a great woman.I have read about her and I want to be a person who can stand up to people who try to get you down. I hope that Rosa Parks rest in peace. even though she may rest in peace her spirit will always be alive in all of our hearts. And i will keep her memory alive!
quote from Martin Luther king Jr.: "Free at last Free at last thank God Almighty I'm Free at last!!!"
we will cherish your memory Rosa Parks!!!!
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
... Marie said on 10/26/2005 @ 7:38 pm PT...
May you rest in peace Mrs. Parks, You did so much for women of all color. THANK YOU .
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
... ROSA PARKS T-SHIRT said on 10/27/2005 @ 8:20 am PT...
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COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
... ROSA PARKS T-SHIRT 2 said on 10/27/2005 @ 8:23 am PT...
Rosa Parks T-Shirt and Gift Ideas
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COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
... Robert A. Laubach said on 10/27/2005 @ 8:30 pm PT...
Amid the day's sad news of murders, death penalties, and government scandals, my soul was lifted by the news that Rosa Parks may lie in repose at the United States Capitol rotunda this coming Sunday and Monday. I anxiously await the news tomorrow that the House of Representatives may make this happen, so that many Americans can pay our respects to a true American hero. May Ms. Parks once again bring her dignity and rightful, non-boasting pride to a nation sorely in need of her example again. I pray that Ms. Parks may once again sit in the front seat of the nation's bus, lieing in repose in the Capitol rotunda, to again inspire us for all time to come.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
... Arieh Lebowitz said on 10/29/2005 @ 11:54 am PT...
Get On The Bus: 150 Years After Elizabeth Jennings / 100 Years Before Rosa Parks
Copyright © 2004, Mickey Z. All Rights Reserved.
On the mornings I board the Q101 bus from Queens to Manhattan, it's not uncommon for the majority of my fellow riders to be people of color. This is an unremarkable observation in 2004 New York where integrated buses are hardly news...thanks to Rosa Parks and her spontaneous act of bravery.
Well, that's what we're taught, aren't we? However, to buy into the Rosa Parks mythology* not only involves ignoring some crucial history about 1955, it erases the name of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Jennings from Big Apple lore.
It was 150 years ago last week that Jennings, a 24-year-old schoolteacher setting out to fulfill her duties as organist at the First Colored Congregational Church on Sixth Street and Second Avenue, fatefully waited for the bus on the corner of Pearl and Chatham. Getting around 1854 New York City often involved paying a fare to board a large horse drawn carriage...the forerunner to today's behemoth motorized buses. For black New Yorkers like Jennings, it wasn't that simple.
Pre-Civil War Manhattan may have been home to the nation's largest African-American population and New York's black residents may have paid taxes and owned property, but riding the bus with whites, well, that was a different story. Some buses bore large "Colored Persons Allowed" signs, while all other buses-those without the sign-were governed by a rather arbitrary system of passenger choice.
"Drivers determined who could ride," journalist Jasmin K. Williams explains, adding that NYC bus drivers "carried whips to keep undesirable passengers off." This unfortunate arrangement was the focus of a burgeoning movement for public transportation equality with Rev. J.W.C. Pennington of the First Colored Congregational Church (where Jennings just so happened to play the organ) playing a major role.
Against such a volatile backdrop, Lizzie Jennings opted for a bus *without* the "Colored Persons Allowed" sign on July 16, 1854. The New York Tribune described what happened next: "She got upon one of the Company's cars...on the Sabbath, to ride to church. The conductor undertook to get her off, first alleging the car was full; when that was shown to be false, he pretended the other passengers were displeased at her presence; but (when) she insisted on her rights, he took hold of her by force to expel her. She resisted."
The outraged Jennings told the conductor she was "a respectable person, born and raised in this city," calling him "a good-for-nothing, impudent fellow for insulting decent persons while on their way to church."
The Tribune picks up the story from there: "The conductor got her down on the platform, jammed her bonnet, soiled her dress and injured her person. Quite a crowd gathered, but she effectually resisted. Finally, after the car had gone on further, with the aid of a policeman they succeeded in removing her."
This would not be the end of it for, like Rosa Parks, Jennings' behavior was no impetuous act of resistance. "Jennings was well connected," says Williams. "Her father was an important businessman and community leader with ties to the two major black churches in the city." Not satisfied with the massive rally that took place the following day at her church, Elizabeth Jennings hired the law firm of Culver, Parker & Arthur and took the Third Avenue Railway Company to court.
In a classic "who knew?" situation, Jennings was represented by a 24-year-old lawyer named Chester A. Arthur...yes, he who would go on to become the 21st president upon the death of James A. Garfield in 1881. The trial took place in the bus company's home base of Brooklyn-then a separate city-where, in early 1855, Judge William Rockwell of the Brooklyn Circuit Court ruled in the black schoolteacher's favor...in that 1855 sort of way: "Colored persons if sober, well behaved and free from disease, had the same rights as others and could neither be excluded by any rules of the Company, nor by force or violence," Rockwell declared.
Jennings claimed $500 worth of damages but as the Tribune put it, "Some jury members had peculiar notions as to colored people's rights," and she ended up with $225, plus another $22.50 for court costs. Regardless, just one day after the verdict, the Third Avenue Railway Company issued an order to admit African-Americans onto their buses.
By 1860, all of the city's street and rail cars were desegregated...and Elizabeth Jennings had married Charles Graham. She was still teaching in New York's African-American schools. Her struggles, however, were far from over.
Thanks to a July 1863 resolution called the Union Conscription Act, any New Yorker with a spare $300 was able to buy his way out of the Civil War draft. Resentment over such favoritism soon turned into rioting by poor whites. "The crowd's anger (had) two sources," explains historian Kenneth C. Davis, "the idea of fighting to free the slaves, and the unfairness of the ability of the wealthy to avoid conscription." The ensuing "Draft Riots" saw over 70 African-Americans lynched. There were other, lesser-known victims...like Thomas J. Graham, one-year-old son of Elizabeth and Charles. Circumstances surrounded the child's death remain unclear but author John Hewitt, who has researched Jennings's life, believes young Thomas died of "convulsions" as the rioting and violence played out on the streets outside his home.
Although calm had yet to be restored to her city, Elizabeth Graham boldly solicited the help of a white undertaker and managed to get her son's body to Brooklyn's Greenwood Cemetery for a proper burial.
Elizabeth Jennings-Graham died in 1901...and I seriously doubt many of my co-commuters on the Q101 have ever heard of her.
*Elizabeth Jennings' spiritual progeny was also "well-connected," having spent twelve years leading her local NAACP chapter. The summer before she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, Parks "attended a ten-day training session at Tennessee's labor and civil rights organizing school, the Highlander Center, where she'd met an older generation of civil rights activists and discussed the recent Supreme Court decision banning 'separate-but-equal' schools," writes journalist Paul Loeb. "In short," he says, "Parks didn't make a spur-of-the-moment decision." In her 1991 book, "My Story," Parks writes: "People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was 42. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in." END
Did you enjoy this article? Email the author. firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
... T.J.Williams said on 10/30/2005 @ 9:45 am PT...
Responding to the death of Rosa Parks T.J.Williams
Before I share the words from my heart I would like to share this poem
about Mother Parks. It is called I Aint Moving. It was written by
Fianah, Grade 7, Peshine Ave. University Prep Junior High School,
Newark, New Jersey, USA.
I Ain't Movin'
Get on the bus. No smile, just a frown;
I'm tired, I'm hot. And I can't sit down.
Well, I guess I could sit down if I wanted to sit in the back--
Plenty of seats in the front, now I don't understand that!
I paid my fare, full fair in fact. But I can't sit in the front. Only the back."
Rome wasn't built in a day," my momma once said.
"You must follow your heart, and fight with your head."
We're in a battle that we will continue to lose
unless someone stands up, or someone don't move.
Well, it's another day and here comes the bus; I've made up my mind,
I'm gonna do this for us! I get on the bus and go straight for the seat,
sit down; dress spread out real neat look around, ALL EYES ON ME!
"Get up gal!" I heard the white man yell.
I wanted to tell him to go straight to hell, but instead I said (with
my voice real soothing "No sir, I'm tired, and I ain't moving." Well,
I didn't move, I kid you not, and the
more I sat the madder he got. I still didn't move and the yelling
didn't stop. And when I did move, I had help from the cops.
Yeah, they took me to jail but that was just fine.
I had used my head and followed my mind.
Well, 45 years later it's a brand new day; you can sit
in the front seat every day. Listen to me children, listen to me well,
to the words I say, not just the story I tell: believe in yourself and to your
beliefs be true. Don't let nobody walk over you.
Some battles are winning ones, while others may be losing, but stand
keep your faith and tell them YOU AIN'T MOVING.
This poem captures that moment that an ordinary women in the South
begun for people who needed an action of liberation. Let's all let
Mother Legacy be our guide. Aren't we all just as tired as Mother
Parks was that day when she did not get up? Let's be tired of no
protection for our life partners. Let us get tired when someone tries
to steal our faith away from us because of who God called us to love.
Let's get tired that we can't legally commit to those we love. Let's
get tired enough to keep sitting. Let's get tired enough to keep
marching and to answer the call be a profetic preseance in this new
age civil rights. Let's get tired enough to keep praying marching and
writng until justice rains down.
T.J.Williams, openly gay contemporary Christian singer and member of
the United Church Christ.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
... thoi Sinclair said on 11/1/2005 @ 1:21 pm PT...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jerry Thomas
Rev. Jesse Jackson Opposes Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito
Nomination is An Insult to the Memory of Rosa Parks
CHICAGO – (Oct. 30, 2005) – The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the RainbowPUSH Coalition, issued the following statement concerning President Bush’s nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court:
“While they are honoring Rosa Parks today at the Rotunda, the same morning President Bush recommends the appointment of Samuel Alito, a state’s rights conservative judge, to the Supreme Court. Alito is considered a favorite of the conservative rightwing in the nation that has stood on the opposite side of history from Rosa Parks. His legal foundation is clearly adverse to civil rights, women’s right to self-determination, labor – and it has even earned him the nickname, “Scalito,” after the court’s most conservative member.
Rosa Parks was arrested for challenging states' rights and segregation, and the denial of civil rights to all Americans. She defied the supreme laws of the land, challenging the state’s policies of segregation. She changed the law and sparked a movement that brought us the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Our nation, and today’s Supreme Court, cannot turn its back on these landmark accomplishments.
We want three things to happen:
1. We support Congressman Jesse Jackson’s (D – IL) bill to place a permanent statue of Rosa Parks in the Great Hall of Congress;
2. In Rosa Parks’ honor, Congress must approve and President Bush must sign legislation to extend the key enforcement provisions (Sections 5 and 203) of the Voting Rights Act which are set to expire in 2007;
3. We need a national conference on civil rights to address the key civil and constitutional rights battles of our time. We must address the lack of access to this Department of Justice and the likelihood of a Supreme Court hostile to the fundamental legal gains we have made in advancing civil rights for all Americans.
Finally, we cannot honor the legacy of Rosa Parks and at the same time appoint supreme court justices with strict constructionists’ state rights legal philosophy.
The RainbowPUSH Coalition is a progressive organization, which seeks to protect, defend and gain civil rights, even the economic and educational playing fields in all aspects of American life and bring peace to the world. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the RainbowPUSH Coalition, please visit the organization’s website, www.rainbowpush.org, or telephone (773) 373-3366. To interview Rev. Jackson about this topic, please call the numbers listed above.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
... Belinda Campbell said on 11/2/2005 @ 2:49 pm PT...
May no one forget Ms. Rosa Parks, she was an inspiraton to us all, of all races, we should never forget the trials and tribulations this woman and many before and after her should go though, I think enough is enough already, haven't we hurt enough of God's people, for the love of God why can't we all just "get along" for that one day the person you might not like, might save your life! So please people as one day, your day might come, so think about your actions before your react! God bless Rosa Parks! She was an inspiration and a rock, I'll miss you Rosa Parks.(personally)
I am a caucasion woman and I think enough is enough, we all belong to God I want Rosa Parks to be remembered with a day, she needs to be recognized as a HERO!!!! It makes me cry! I miss you Rosa Parks!
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
... stacy said on 11/10/2005 @ 4:56 am PT...
this is stacy from st.marks school
me and my class are doing imformation on you
you are a very sepcail woman rest in peace.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
... Ali said on 2/9/2006 @ 5:59 am PT...
I LOVE ROSA PARKS!!!!! Thanks for changing the way people are and some are still that way but most of all we've changed! Thanks again
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