First, click the image above to watch the video.
On this day, 55 years ago, Rosa Parks took an awesome stand by sitting down. With her sacrifice, she gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement.
The rule of Jim Crow required the first ten rows of the bus to be reserved for Whites; the rows behind this point were for the Negro passengers. However, as more White passengers would board the bus, that “separation point” would move back as the Negros had to give up their seats to White passengers, and stand during their transit. Well, at one stop, a White male passenger boarded the bus and the operator, Mr. James E. Blake, told four blacks to give up their seats. All of them did, except Mrs. Parks. She had an understanding of her (What Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mother would call) somebodiness. She knew that she was no less of a person, so she decided to take a stand for herself and those like her by sitting down.
I won’t go to far into the story, but from that bold act the Montgomery Improvement Association was born and a young 26-year-old preacher was empowered to change the world…
Today in my class (I’m a teacher now…) I asked them if they knew why this day was special; ironically it was a White student that could tell me. I went into the story…just a little. I then asked one of my Black kids, (No offense…I ascribe the moniker “Negro” to blacks striving for excellence with dignity and honor…not used loosely…lol) “What do you think about sitting at the front of the bus today?”
“For what, Mr. wRight?”
“To honor Mrs. Parks’ sacrifice.”
“I can honor her from the back of the bus… she will feel so honored…very honored, from the back.”
Pardon me if I seem a little over the top, but I liken this day unto Passover for the Israelites. It was something that happened on one day that changed our lives forever. It saddens me because the young people of today fail to see the relevance of the three centuries of slavery, “emancipation,” and racial injustice. It’s heartbreaking on many levels. When I think of the woman Mrs. Parks was and see what our young people aspire to be nowadays, there’s no comparison. In the 50s, it was about the injustices that were rendered from the majority; but today, unlike many of our older Civil Rights Leaders believe, is no longer a valid excuse. Interracial oppression, at least conspicuous interracial discrimination, is the least of our concerns; INTRAracial oppression is the worst! Since April 4, 1968, the hand of the oppression has a strong hold inside the community; not without. And a vast majority of us don’t see it…
I’m going to cut it short for now…but I’m longing for another movement where we could come to a communal common ground. One where the masses could see it’s time to re-assume the Promised Land that are progenitors fought and died for. That Promised Land isn’t riches and fame…but the choice and chance to bring honor to our name, our God, and past.
Happy Rosa Parks Day…