The act of sitting down was such a powerful statement when it came to standing up for one’s civil rights in the 1950s and ’60s. Today I wanted to pay homage to Rosa Parks, “the mother of the freedom movement.” She became the international icon of resistance to racial segregation when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. You can only imagine what was going through her mind when she chose that simple act of defiance. With all the titles and accolades she received, I would dub her the Queen of Chutzpah.
In the Spring of 1990 she visited my alma mater The University of Virgina. In my 2nd year we were honored to have her as a guest during our Black History Month celebration. I was more honored to have taken this photo of her. I love the sweet expression on her face and the fact she was waving at me. At least in my mind, I believe she was.
Her birthday is tomorrow February 4. If you have to take public transportation this weekend think about her. Think of the sacrifice she made. Don’t sit on the back of the bus. Don’t move to the last train car. Know that you have the freedom to sit anywhere. Thank you Rosa Parks, thank you.