Black History Month: Rosa Parks

It was Dec. 1, 1955 on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama when Rosa Parks, a NAACP member, bravely refused to allow a white man to have her seat. She refused to be sent to the back of the bus.

We find it hard to imagine that one individual in a moment of choice and action can make a difference. We have grown cynical. We have given up before even trying, believing that without wealth, power, and a Super PAC  on our team, it is an impossibility that an ordinary person can help facilitate change. And it is true that we are up against an advantaged few that often win for the few and not the many.

We have the courageous example of Rosa Parks. She reminds us of the power one person has to make a stand against social injustice. Her single act of determination to stand up, or in this case to stay sitting down, in the face of a  violent, murderous, and intimidating society of racism could and did make a change.

We must remember that this was no ordinary act of protest. The society of racism in Montgomery, Alabama was a formidable foe. The threat was very real. Many were willing and ready to  murder innocent people to maintain white power and privilege, where blacks were conveniently relegated, literally to the back of the bus, into a state of dehumanization.

Rosa Parks’ arrest report