Rosa Parks As Much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King, Jr.

RosaOn this day in Black History Month, a new book, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” by Jeanne Theoharis, a Brooklyn College professor, shows Rosa Parks was as much Malcolm X as she was Martin Luther King Jr.

The book, reviewed by New York Times writer, Charles M. Blow, is on my list of books to read this month.

In the book, Rosa Parks states in her own words, “I had felt for a long time, that if I was ever told to get up so a white person could sit, I would refuse to do so.”

That day came on Dec. 1, 1955, when a bus driver asked her to get up so that a white man could sit. She refused. This was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. It was a political calculation informed by 20 years of prior activism, as an organizer and agitator for civil rights, mostly as the secretary of the Montgomery, Ala., branch of the N.A.A.C.P.

Mrs. Parks said, “An opportunity was being given to me to do what I had asked of others.”

So it seems that Mrs. Parks was not the tired little old lady we had been led to believe she was. NY Times writer, Charles Blow thinks this book ‘will restore Mrs. Parks’s wholeness, even at the risk of stirring unease’.

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