Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Woman Who Stood Up Against the World by Refusing to Stand Up

I wanted to write about a historical person that I look up to and inspires me. Basically, a historical figure is a famous person in history. Here are just a few examples: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr. Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Che Guevara, Cleopatra, John F. Kennedy, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, William Shakespeare, and the list goes on. For me, a lot of these people did something impressive in history and are still remembered until now whether they were artistic people or human rights activist.

I was so tempted to write about one from the list above but I decided to write about someone else. Believe me, it was a tough decision. I don’t think that you, as my beloved-reader, would love to read 20 pages about my favorite historical figures, what they did and why they are so special to me. Or would you?

I was talking about this with my stepdad and I asked him who would he choose? I mentioned to him all the names listed above. He said he would pick Martin Luther King Jr. because he fought for freedom and his ideas. Unfortunately, he died because of it in the end. I told him that I was tempted to write about him too but I wanted to write about someone else. (Maybe I’ll regret this later on.)

I have always been intrigued by Rosa Parks’ story. Her official name is Rosa Louise McCauley Parks and she was an American activist in the civil rights movement. The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights”  and ‘’the mother of the freedom movement’’.

On the 1st of December 1955 in Alabama, Montgomery, Rosa refused to leave her seat in the colored section for a white passenger because all the seats in the white section were filled. The bus driver named James F. Blake asked her to move but after he realized that she wasn’t going to do so, he called his boss. His boss asked him if he warned her. He said he did, so the boss told him that he had the power to get her off the bus. He then called the police right after. Later, he said he was just doing his job and he followed all the steps.

Rosa Parks wasn’t the only one who was denied a seat. There was a girl, named Claudette Colvin, who did the same thing before her. Shortly after Rosa Parks’ arrest, a political and social protest campaign against the segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama called “Montgomery Bus Boycott,” started. It began on the 5th of December 1955 and ended on 20th of December 1956. Important figures took part in the civil rights movement such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Crazy thing is that Rosa met the same driver 10 years earlier. She paid for her ticket but the bus driver told her to get out and enter from the back door. When she got out, the driver drove away. That's what bus drivers did to colored people. She promised that she would never enter the bus if he was the bus driver. But on that “specific day,'' she didn't pay attention to it, and so they met again. When the driver died of a heart attack, Rosa Parks commented on his death: “I'm sure his family will miss him.”

I am on the couch in my pajamas and doing as much research as I can.  I feel like I did more reading than writing this blog article but I can say I am shocked at what happened during that period in Alabama. I told my stepdad that you wouldn't want to live in Alabama during that time. Not that he would ever live in America anyway because he doesn't like America. He said, “but what changed? Isn't it all still a big chaos in America?” I had to agree with him that there are still a lot of things going on. I could never live in a time like that, probably that's why I have so much respect for people like Rosa Parks. She fought for what she believed in. I read somewhere that she was tired, tired of giving in.

Rosa Parks did a lot for her community and the organization she worked for. For me personally, she is such an inspirational woman. I'm tempted to read her autobiography called “Rosa Parks, My Story.” There are some more books written about her which can worth reading. One thing that I really want to do is visit the Rosa Parks Museum located in Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama.
The No. 2857 buss on which Rosa Parks was riding before her arrest.

What do you think of this blog? Do you know about Rosa Parks and her story?



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