Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Remembering Rosa Parks

Fifty years ago, on September 15, 1955 I was born. Less than three months later Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man. It is amazing to me to think that in just my life time's worth of time it was expected that she would. When asked to move to let a white bus rider be seated Parks refused. She did not argue and she did not move. The police were called and Parks was arrested.

To me, in the here and now, the idea that a person could be arrested for this and that it could be considered a crime seems absurd. Yes, we have a long way to go. Also, we have come a long way thanks to Rosa Parks and many who shared her courage. The day she died recently, a short time after my 50th birthday, is a sad day. We lost a genuine American hero.

SJSU statue

The statue of Smith and Carlos at SJSU is an important statue. It is a symbol of activism, but it is also a symbol of the struggle of black people in our society to be free and to break the chains of oppression that still bind them. This is an important icon for us all to see and remember. It was not that long ago that people had to give up seats on a bus, just because they were black. Thank you Parks and Smith and Carlos and so many more...


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