The history of civil rights movement is incomplete without the contribution of Rosa Parks. In an era when Blacks were not even considered worthy of human-like treatment, Rosa Parks did the unthinkable. Her refusal to budge from her seat for a fellow white person while travelling in a bus redirected the course of history. It was this bold move of hers on December 1,1955, that mobilized Blacks across the world to fight for their rights.
Her dogged determination to liberate Blacks from oppression had made her a youth icon among the masses. She was an ardent believer of the transformation youth could bring about. In 1997, she became the first living person to be honoured with a holiday. She was also voted by the Time magazine as the most influential personalities of the 20th century.
She succumbed to dementia in 2005. Her death could not mitigate the profound impact her life and words had on the world.
On her 104th birthday today, let us remember some of those words that remind us of the angst associated with her struggle.
1. 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… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
2. I don’t think well of people who are prejudiced against people because of race. The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. We can’t force them to think that way.
3. I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.
4. At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.
5. As far back as I can remember, I knew there was something wrong with our way of life when people could be mistreated because of the colour of their skin.
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6. There is just so much hurt, disappointment, and oppression one can take… The line between reason and madness grows thinner.
7. Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.
8. You spend your whole lifetime in your occupation, actually making life clever, easy and convenient for white people. But when you have to get transportation home, you are denied an equal accommodation. Our existence was for the white man’s comfort and well-being; we had to accept being deprived of just being human.
9. Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.
10. All I was doing was trying to get home from work.
Image credits: history.com
Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV