Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Prisoner # 7053
Back in da day it was cool to get arrested. Folks from good families were getting themselves locked up and their peoples were coming down to bail them out before the white folks beat them up too badly.
When Rosa got arrested folks were proud. So much so that she was asked to do a reenactment of the arrest for the paparazzi. Before Joanne Chesimard, Rosa was the bad ass sista that put a foot up the establishment's ass. Despite what Cedrick said in Barber Shop, we knew the impact of her actions and the courage it required to say no.
Her death yesterday, at 92, closes a storied chapter in American history. Nearly fifty years ago, her quiet refusal to relinquish her seat was the first in a series of events that set off the 381-day boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama city buses, culminating with U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation of city buses is unconstitutional.
Today I mourn the loss of Rosa Parks, not only because she has transitioned, but because in so many ways, we are no better off than we were when she quietly defied authority. We're still getting arrested, but no one is coming to bail anyone out! The signs were ruled unconstitutional and taken down, but the attitude remains. Rosa's generation raised my mama's generation in such a way that my generation was insulated from the sting of racism. I wasn't aware of the inherent inequalities until I was good and grown, but I see them now.
I will honor Rosa Park's memory by always identifying and pointing out that which is wrong. When someone says or does something ridiculous, I will call them on it. I will share our history, with not only the young brothers and sisters coming up, but with EVERYONE. Black history is American history. What happens to one impacts the other. Rosa Parks knew that.
Posted by Rodney ::
5:45 AM ::
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