Showing posts with label Rosa Parks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rosa Parks. Show all posts

The real story of Rosa Parks sixty-five Years Later: What You learned in college is wrong


Unjust laws will remain unjust until they're disobeyed by good people. Had brave individuals throughout history not risked imprisonment or worse to challenge tyrannical, racist, and immoral laws, society today, would be much less free — this rule is very true for black people in America.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks made history by disobeying an unjust law that required people of color to yield their seats on the bus to the race. When the busman told the complete row of black people to maneuver to the rear of the bus because a white person boarded, everyone complied, aside from Parks.

Parks was arrested and convicted for failing to obey the driver’s seat assignments. The events following her arrest, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and therefore the federal ruling of Browder v. Gayle which ruled that segregated buses were unconstitutional, would be a turning point in segregated America.

While Rosa Parks is certainly an outsized part of American history, her idea to disobey the unjust bus law wasn't entirely original.

Can you name the primary woman who wouldn’t surrender her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama? the solution isn't civil rights workers.
Rosa Parks’ decision to disobey that fateful day was inspired and, in fact, modeled after a 15-year-old hero named Claudette Colvin.

Nine months before Parks was arrested for her choice to not hand over her seat, on March 2, 1955, this brave child, without the support of the NAACP, or Civil Rights groups, took a stand on principle alone and refused to convey up her seat.

“It’s my constitutional right to take a seat here the maximum amount as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right.” Colvin said as she bravely asserted her rights on her way home from school that day.

“I felt like Truth was pushing down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman was pushing down on the other—saying, ‘Sit down girl!’ i used to be glued to my seat,” she later explained.

For violating the city’s segregation laws, Colvin, at only 15, was thrown in a very cage. “I was really afraid because you only didn’t know what race might do at that point,” Colvin later said.

Luckily for Colvin, however, her arrest got the eye of the NAACP, who had been trying to find a case to use to argue against these unjust laws. Colvin was dropped at the NAACP as they discussed using her case to fight for the rights of all blacks. However, they opted to not use Colvin for several reasons.

According to Bio, after some consideration, the NAACP opted to attend for a special case. there have been several reasons for this decision: Colvin’s conviction for violating segregation laws had been overturned on appeal (though a conviction for assault on a law officer stood). Colvin’s age was another issue—as Colvin told NPR in 2009, the NAACP and other groups “didn’t think teenagers would be reliable.”

The 15-year-old also became pregnant some months after her arrest as a result of ravishment.

“If the white press got ahold of that information, they might have [had] a field day,” said civil rights leaderwith regard to Colvin’s pregnancy. “They’d call her a nasty girl, and her case wouldn’t have an opportunity.”

“I told Mrs. Parks, as I had told other leaders in Montgomery, that i assumed the Claudette Colvin arrest was a decent legal action to finish segregation on the buses,” says Fred Gray, Parks’s lawyer. “However, the black leadership in Montgomery at the time thought that we should always wait.”

It was during her time at the NAACP that Colvin met Rosa Parks. The pair became friends and it had been decided that Parks would be the spokesperson for the subsequent act of disobedience.

When asked by the Guardian in 2000, Colvin explained that the explanation Parks would persist to create the case by refusing to maneuver on the bus was multi-faceted.

“It would are different if I hadn’t been pregnant, but if I had lived during a different place or been light-skinned, it'd have made a difference, too.”

As the Guardian reported, Montgomery’s black establishment leaders decided they'd need to look ahead to the proper person. which person, it transpired, would be Rosa Parks. “Mrs. Parks was a woman,” said ED Nixon. “She was morally clean, and he or she had a reasonably good academic training … If there was ever an individual we would’ve been able to [use to] break the case that existed on the Montgomery bound, Rosa L Parks was the lady to use … I probably would’ve examined a dozen more before I got there if civil rights leader hadn’t come along before I found the correct one.”

By Monday, the day the boycott began, Colvin had already been airbrushed from the official version of events. Meanwhile, Parks had been transformed from a politically-conscious activist to an upstanding, unfortunate Everywoman. “And since it had to happen, I’m happy it happened to someone like Mrs. Parks,” said theologiser King from the pulpit of the Holt Street Protestant denomination.

Had the NAACP not had the foresight to promote this act of direct action to the masses, the events that transpired after Parks’ arrest may have not happened and history can be entirely different.

After understanding the important story behind civil rights leaders, it now makes perfect sense why these images of her arrest and seat on the bus are so professional — they were meant to be.

The power of promoting information took on a wholly new meaning that day.
While American history books still ignore the bravery of Claudette Colvin, her heroism has resisted the whitewashing and her story has beaten the chances.

Please share this story along with your friends and family in order that this unsung protagonist who had the courage to disobey unjust laws as a baby gets the credit she deserves.

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