TJ is a writer living in Portland, OR.

Rosa Parks

I just listened to the Democracy Now! retrospective on Rosa Parks 100th birthday. It was interesting how little I really knew about her role in the civil rights movement. She was not a passive figurehead in the Montgomery bus boycotts, but someone with a long history of activism and resistance.  

The driver said that if I refused to leave the seat, he would have to call the police. And I told him, “Just call the police.” He then called the officers of the law. They came and placed me under arrest, violation of the segregation law of the city and state of Alabama in transportation. I didn’t think I was violating any. I felt that I was not being treated right, and that I had a right to retain the seat that I had taken as a passenger on the bus. The time had just come when I had been pushed as far as I could stand to be pushed, I suppose. They placed me under arrest.
— Rosa Parks

That was 1955. That was fifty-eight years ago. Less than sixty years ago there were laws in this country that dictated who could ride on what part of the bus.


George Saunders

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