In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Tag Archives: Rosa Parks
As I mentioned a few months ago, one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in years is The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, by Jeanne Theoharis. I underlined so much of the text that the parts that are not underlined now stand out, but one passage in Chapter Five made a special impression. I think of it almost daily, and it has profoundly influenced the standard I set for myself as a person who claims to care about justice.
A community of black people and a smattering of white allies looked that old order, that terror, …
I was still on my hiatus from blogging on February 4th, but the Bus Fam definitely celebrated our shero’s (would-be) 100th birthday.
I’ve been leading a charmed reading life of late. Almost everything I’ve carried in my bus bag for the last year (plus) has been worth its (considerable) weight in gold: informative, compelling, inspiring. But even all this good bus reading didn’t prepare me for my most recent ride read, which absolutely rocked my world.
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, by civil rights scholar Jeanne Theoharis, is the most comprehensive—really, the only—political biography written about my sweet Chicklet‘s namesake. It is the book I would have written myself, had I more impressive credentials and initiative.
It’s a Tuesday afternoon, and Chicklet, Busling, and I are wandering the aisles of the Douglass-Truth children’s section, looking to replenish our summer reading selection.
At a nearby table, a grandmother is reading a picture book, which happens to be one of those reinterpretations of The Wheels on the Bus, to her two-ish grandson. When she gets to, “The driver on the bus says, ‘Move on back!’” Chicklet immediately stops what she is doing.
“That’s not very nice, is it?” she asks, eyeing the grandmother suspiciously. (Don’t sleep on the Chicklet Side Eye.)
I assume that she …
My most recent bus read was the autobiography of OG Detroit activist, Grace Lee Boggs. Come to think of it, it was the bus read before last; I finished Home last week. (I’m currently experiencing some rather extreme Toni Morrison withdrawal and am still carrying it around in my bag.)
Among the many things I learned when reading Ms. Boggs’ book is that this amazing song exists.
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 …
Earlier this month, the four of us spent a week in Detroit (aka, my city-in-law), combining a work conference for me with a visit home (including a celebration of his childhood church’s 75th anniversary) for Bus Nerd. Per usual, I spent much of the visit indulging my Rosa Parks obsession, which included dragging everyone (including my Gail, who had actually already been) on a pilgrimage to the recently* completed Rosa Parks Transit Center.
On paper, the RPTC is everything a bus chick could dream of, and in real life, it lives up …
“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.” – Rosa Louise MCauley Parks
In honor of the 55th anniversary of my shero‘s momentous arrest:
I love the Neville Brothers and this tribute, but it does perpetuate the myth of Mrs. Parks as a “simple seamstress” with tired feet. Any cursory study of her life will uncover a very different story.
P.S. – Chicklet thinks this song is for her, since in our house, she’s Sister Rosa.
“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds, will continue in others.” – …
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I have many obsessions: libraries, Rosa Parks, Three Girls Bakery, Mount Rainier, and–oh yeah–buses. You might not know, since I have not thus far had occasion to write about it here, that I am also obsessed with August Wilson.
I am a huge August Wilson fan. The first time I saw one of his plays staged (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Alley Theater in Houston, back when I was a student at Rice) was transformational for me. The man has …