Civil rights hero Rosa Parks dies - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
October 25, 2005

Find books now:

Civil rights hero Rosa Parks dies

-25/10/05

Rosa Parks, the black woman whose refusal in 1955 to give up her bus seat in favour of a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, became emblematic of the US civil rights struggle, has died aged 92 years.

Tributes from church and civic leaders across the world have been pouring in. The African American Episcopal Church in the USA, her own denomination, and the Southern Christian Leadership Council, which was formed as part of the struggle for black emancipation with Dr Martin Luther King Jr, were among them.

Parksí health had been steadily declining over the last ten years. She stopped giving interviews in the late 1990s and rarely appeared in public. In one of her last full-length interviews with the Detroit Free Press in 1995, she spoke of what she would like people to say about her after she passed away.

ìI'd like people to say I'm a person who always wanted to be free and wanted it not only for myself; freedom is for all human beings,î she declared during an interview in the pastorís study at St Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church, a small congregation she joined when she moved to the city in 1957.

She was arrested for the bus refusal on Wednesday 1 December, 1955 Although presented in sections of the media as an everyday passenger who was too tired to move, or who had finally had enough and decided to assert her rights, Parks was actually an indefatigable campaigner with a long track record of opposing racism.

When found guilty by the authorities, Rosa Parks was fined 10 US dollars plus a court fee of 4 US dollars, but she appealed. Along with many others she worked tirelessly to desegregate the American South and to promote full equal rights. She is also a hero for the womenís movement.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott is often considered to be one of the most defining non-violent direct action campaigns in the western world, showing how the power of principle can challenge the principle of power in refusing injustice ñ and illustrating how the power of the media can play a key role.

The disproportionate suffering of the poor, black community of New Orleans in the recent Hurricane Katrina showed the world the inequality and injustice is still an issue in the worldís richest nation.

Campaigners say the memory of Rosa Parks will be of enduring significance for the continuing civil rights struggle.

Find books now:

Civil rights hero Rosa Parks dies

-25/10/05

Rosa Parks, the black woman whose refusal in 1955 to give up her bus seat in favour of a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, became emblematic of the US civil rights struggle, has died aged 92 years.

Tributes from church and civic leaders across the world have been pouring in. The African American Episcopal Church in the USA, her own denomination, and the Southern Christian Leadership Council, which was formed as part of the struggle for black emancipation with Dr Martin Luther King Jr, were among them.

Parks' health had been steadily declining over the last ten years. She stopped giving interviews in the late 1990s and rarely appeared in public. In one of her last full-length interviews with the Detroit Free Press in 1995, she spoke of what she would like people to say about her after she passed away.

'I'd like people to say I'm a person who always wanted to be free and wanted it not only for myself; freedom is for all human beings,' she declared during an interview in the pastor's study at St Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church, a small congregation she joined when she moved to the city in 1957.

She was arrested for the bus refusal on Wednesday 1 December, 1955 Although presented in sections of the media as an everyday passenger who was too tired to move, or who had finally had enough and decided to assert her rights, Parks was actually an indefatigable campaigner with a long track record of opposing racism.

When found guilty by the authorities, Rosa Parks was fined 10 US dollars plus a court fee of 4 US dollars, but she appealed. Along with many others she worked tirelessly to desegregate the American South and to promote full equal rights. She is also a hero for the women's movement.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott is often considered to be one of the most defining non-violent direct action campaigns in the western world, showing how the power of principle can challenge the principle of power in refusing injustice - and illustrating how the power of the media can play a key role.

The disproportionate suffering of the poor, black community of New Orleans in the recent Hurricane Katrina showed the world the inequality and injustice is still an issue in the world's richest nation.

Campaigners say the memory of Rosa Parks will be of enduring significance for the continuing civil rights struggle.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.