Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks, 92, Symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, Dies

Rosa Park's refusal to relinquish her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus grew into a mythic event that helped set off the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's.

She passed away last night. May she rest in peace.

In remembering Rosa it is proper that we pay tribute to the extraordinary courage this quiet woman demonstrated in challenging a deeply entrenched segregation in 1955.

In the late 1960's I got involved in the civil rights movement in the Deep South when I signed on to work with the War on Poverty. In my first week at work my colleagues and I integrated a restaurant that had refused service to one of our African American co-workers. It was a very scary experience and it gave me a great appreciation for Rosa Parks and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.

America is a better country because of the heroism of Rosa Parks.

Her memory should inspire us to fight for freedom and justice for all Americans.