Saturday, October 5, 2013

Strong is Sexy Woman of the Past: The Rosa Parks Story

I recently watched this movie. It's a very powerful one telling the Rosa Parks story, not just the bus, but so much more...and Angela Bassett does an incredible acting job--as usual.

The story begins with a very young Rosie attending a Quaker school. She makes a friend who is later a NAACP leader. The time is the 1920s and we see right away the racial tension, or at least hear about it in the movie. (The Quaker teacher's school was burned down.) The movie very subtlely informs of major racial problems that occur before the Rosa Parks bus story, but doesn't miss a beat.

We go on to learn about the funny romance between Rosa and Raymond Parks. I thought it was interesting how he was pretty passionate and vocal about African-American rights until Scottsdale. Scottsdale seemed to change him, and he didn't care to act anymore, just voice his displeasure. This made me really curious to go read more about the incident.

There are so many powerful scenes in this movie...Rosa trying to get registered to vote. Her determination was incredible. She went not once, but three times.

The children lined up in the "whites only" library... I didn't know whether to cry that they had to do that for something every one takes for granted nowadays--the right to read--or cheer because these kids were taking such a wonderful stand.

The real Rosa Parks
And then the movie takes us to the bus...and how she handled herself with the utmost dignity and poise. She was arrested, the buses were boycotted, the country was changed. And this woman lost her job and almost lost her marriage...but just think what the world would be like if she hadn't done this.

She wasn't the first to do it...but she was the first to convince others to stand behind her.

Favorite line, from an old lady boycotting the bus:

"I ain't getting on 'til Jim Crow gets off!"

Rosa Parks has been called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement". She was arrested in December of 1955 for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. Though she was not the first, she was the first the NAACP felt could stand a court trial and possibly win--and she did. She was a secretary of the Montgomery NAACP. She is the first woman and second non-U.S. government official to be buried at Capitol Rotunda.

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