We Still Have A Dream
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks 1913-2005 May She Rest in Peace
Born Rosa Louise McCauley on Feb. 4, 1913, in Tuskegee to James McCauley, a carpenter, and Leona Edwards McCauley, a teacher. Her father left the family when Rosa was very young. She grew up on a farm with her grandparents, mother, and brother; for most of her adult life she worked as a seamstress. Her mother often advised her to "take advantage of the opportunities, no matter how few they are." Her husband, Raymond Parks, was a barber active in black voter registration and other civil rights causes. He died in 1977, the same year her brother, Sylvester, died. She had no children born to her, but she has said, "I consider all children as mine." Rosa Parks finished high school in 1934. She has received more than two dozen honorary doctorates, including one from Soka University in Tokyo. In the early 1950s, Parks became active in the American Civil Rights Movement and worked as a secretary for the Montgomery, Alabama branch of the NAACP. Just six months before her arrest, she had attended the Highlander Folk School, an education center for workers' rights and racial equality. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Parks, while sitting in the black section of the bus, refused to obey a public bus driver's orders to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus to make extra seats for whites. Rosa was tired of being treated as a second-class citizen and stood firmly. She was arrested, tried, and convicted for disorderly conduct and for violating a local ordinance. Afterwards, Parks became an icon of the civil rights movement. At her brother's urging, she moved to Detroit in the early 1960s and served on the staff of U. S. Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) from 1965 until 1988.
Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement in honor of the life and legacy of Rosa Parks: "Today we mourn the passing of Rosa Parks, the mother of the modern civil rights movement. On a December day in 1955, Mrs. Parks, in one simple yet crystallizing act of moral clarity, gave voice and form to the struggle for civil rights and equality in our country. And, in so doing, Mrs. Parks pushed us to be a better nation. "Mrs. Parks will long be remembered for her courage on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama, which sparked the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott led by civil rights leaders such as E.D. Nixon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Rev. Ralph Abernathy. This moment sparked an historic beginning and paved the way for the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act which banned racial discrimination in public facilities, but her courage and commitment to civil rights began much earlier and reaches far deeper. "As a nation, we are all thankful for her courageous contributions. Today, in honor of Mrs. Parks' legacy, we must be committed to fighting the inequities that remain and championing fundamental rights for all whether it is voting rights, equality for immigrants or a commitment to end poverty in America. This is the true legacy of Rosa Parks which will live on long after her passing."
King's nonviolent resistance to evil was effective because it purified the hearts of the oppressed and awakened the conscience of the oppressor.
It took me a while to figure out what these pictures show that Life did not want people to see, and why they
waited all these years to finally make them public. Then it struck me. It is not what the pictures show that is the problem.
It is what the pictures do not show. These pictures were taken just hours after Martin Luther King was assassinated.
You see the poor soul cleaning up Martin Luther King's blood and saving it in a jar. Look carefully at the pictures.
The photographer was even able to enter the old building where the killer had sat. The pictures of the men on
the balcony were taken from there. He was unobstructed. So what is missing? Have you figured it out?
From here, just hours before, the greatest civil rights leader of all time and one of the greatest men in
history had been assassinated in cold blood. So have you figured it out yet? What is wrong with these pictures?
The emptiness is what is wrong with them. There are no police, investigating, gathering evidence, questioning witnesses.
There are no guards, no soldiers, no federal agents, protecting those who were most surely under threat and at
risk. Just empty streets, empty lots, and empty building. A perfect reflection of the empty beasts who had
perpetuated such a deed. The empty men, with their ignorant hated-filled empty morality, their empty heads
devoid of noble and even simple human thoughts and emotions, and their empty carcasses devoid of souls.
They did their deed, and went to sleep and the next day the government, believing the movement
was also dead, sent a plane to get the poor victims out and retrieve the body of the King.
All pictures from Life Magazine.
Used for educational purposes.
APRIL 04, 2009
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