Thank you (again), Sister Rosa

The current temperature in Montgomery, AL: 39 degrees. (To Bus Nerd’s down-south fam: My condolences.)

It is just now occurring to me how ridiculously courageous it is to start a bus boycott in December.* Shoot, just getting to church (which is only a mile north of us) on foot last Sunday in the pouring, freezing rain was an adventure. Our boycott was accidental (we missed the bus), but, now that our stop has been removed, we have to walk almost a half a mile just to get to a 48. So, bus or no, we’re going to get wet.

But I digress.

While we’re on the subject of Mrs. Parks (yes, again!), I might as well share with you that, on my latest visit to Detroit, I finally visited the Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford. (I didn’t mention it in the original post, because I had already spent too much time gushing about the Rosa Parks Transit Center. And, yes, I realize that it might be time for an intervention.) Fellow bus chicks, behold:

Rosa Parks bus

My Rosa sitting in THE Rosa’s seat

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds, will continue in others.” – Rosa Louise McCauley Parks

*Over time, the boycott developed a pretty sophisticated system of carpools (you can read more about it in Dr. King’s Stride Toward Freedom)–despite police harassment and legal challenges–but many of the participants in the boycott walked very long distances in all kinds of weather.

5 thoughts on “Thank you (again), Sister Rosa

  1. busboy

    I like the way you keep the memory of Ms. Parks and her humble-citizen history-changing heroism alive for all of us.

    1. BusChick Post author

      Thanks, Busboy! In some ways she has become larger than life, idolized in a way she never expected (or wanted) to be, and turned into a sort of caricature of herself. I probably reinforce that with my all-Rosa Parks-all-the-time stuff, but I have always been inspired by her courage (not just on that day but throughout her life) and by the message of the boycott: Our actions do matter, and we CAN bring about change.

    2. Chiagozie

      I liked Ms. Giovanni’s approach to tienllg this tale. Given that it is a family’s book, I appreciate that she looks at the humanity of Rosa Parks, (a woman with a life and a spouse), rather than just her political role. I know that my kids will relate better to the tale because of that. Furthermore, Ms. Giovanni doesn’t pretend that the events on the bus were an unforeseeable coincidence. I find the lead up to be both private and portentous of equipment to come. It reads better as life opportunistic rather than engineered or manipulated and I don’t reckon that she describes Rosa as lacking intention. In fact, I imagine that Ms. Giovanni’s source (as I have read) was her meeting with Rosa Parks herself. I expect that, in person, the truth of her tale reaches a deeper private level and Ms. Giovanni felt able to build on previously documented interpretations. Everyone has a voice and with the warm, expressive pictures, I find it an effective combination for family.

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