Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005)

February 04, 2013 at 9:35 am by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Education, Intersectionality

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U.S. Post Office Releases Stamp on Rosa Park's 100th Birthday

U.S. Post Office Releases Stamp on Rosa Park’s 100th Birthday

Rosa Parks, Revisited by Charles M. Blow, New York Times:

On the verge of the 100th anniversary of her birth this Monday comes a fascinating new book, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” by Jeanne Theoharis, a Brooklyn College professor. It argues that the romanticized, children’s-book story of a meek seamstress with aching feet who just happened into history in a moment of uncalculated resistance is pure mythology.

As Theoharis points out, “Rosa’s family sought to teach her a controlled anger, a survival strategy that balanced compliance with militancy.” …
Parks, like many other Americans who over the years have angrily agitated for change in this country, had been sanitized and sugarcoated for easy consumption.

As Theoharis writes: “Held up as a national heroine but stripped of her lifelong history of activism and anger at American injustice, the Parks who emerged was a self-sacrificing mother figure for a nation who would use her death for a ritual of national redemption.”

Fortunately, this book seeks to restore Parks’s wholeness, even at the risk of stirring unease.

The Rosa Parks in this book is as much Malcolm X as she is Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Black History Month.