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11-9-05 Very Fitting that Rosa Parks Receive National Recognition

In those days, a farm employer would not throw up a hand in greeting to a black person.  It was accomplished by a nod.  I remember that “Fat”, a long-time employee on the Dawson Farm, seemed surprised when I, as a teenager, would throw up my hand to wave.  He hesitantly waved back.



November 4, 2005


Fitting that Rosa Parks Have National Recognition


By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.


Rosa Parks showed courage in the days when it was a serious risk.  She helped spark a change in the South that many Southerners wanted changed.  Custom is hard to change.


As a youngster, I remember playing with some Afro-American kids but as we got older the segregated system took us on different paths.  In those days, a farm employer would not throw up a hand in greeting to a black person.  It was accomplished by a nod.  I remember that “Fat”, a long-time employee on the Dawson Farm, seemed surprised when I, as a teenager, would throw up my hand to wave.  He hesitantly waved back.


It is fitting that Rosa Parks be remembered.  It is fitting that the Flag flew at half staff.





The Washington Times



November 1, 2005


D.C. thanks Rosa Parks for her life


By Amy Doolittle and Gary Emerling


Rosa Parks, the woman whose act of defiance sparked a national civil rights movement, was remembered yesterday as a peaceful promoter of justice during a standing-room-only service at the District's Metropolitan AME Church in Northwest.


An overflow crowd of hundreds lined M Street across from the church to pay their respects and listen to the three-hour service, which was broadcast through speakers on the church lawn.

    "I spent time in Alabama in the '60s, and the difference she made was great for me," said Calvin Newsome, 64, a retired mechanic who lives in Northwest. "It gave us more backbone to say, 'Look here, this has got to be done.' We have to keep her memory forever, there's a lot more to do." …..

    A group of students from Seaton Elementary School in Northwest took a brief field trip to line up on the church's sidewalk, holding signs reading, "Thank You, Mother Rosa" and "Rosa Parks -- She gave it all she had."

    "It means a lot to me to be down here because I never met Rosa Parks, and my mom told me a lot of stuff about her," said Tony Davis, a fourth-grader at Seaton. "I think it was important she didn't give up her seat on the bus so we could stop segregation."

    Mrs. Parks, 92, died Oct. 24 while napping in her home in Detroit. She is credited with starting the civil rights movement when she refused to surrender her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955.

    Inside the church, the audience listened to 13 civil rights activists, politicians and friends pay tribute to Mrs. Parks, the crowd standing and cheering several times during the course of the service.

    "The people here today are not here because Rosa Parks died," said Adam Jefferson Richardson, African Methodist Episcopal second district bishop, "but because she lived graciously, effectively and purposefully."

    Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's nonvoting representative in Congress, served as master of ceremonies.

    "In great humility, Rosa Parks' gift was not the message that I am doing this to free you," said Mrs. Norton. "Her message was far more direct: Free yourself."

    High-ranking Washington political and government officials from both parties were in attendance, including Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican; Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean; Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat; and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

    Also in attendance were TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey and actress Cicely Tyson. Both celebrities spoke during the service…….

11-5-05 Alabama Needs Statue of Rosa Parks


The Barrow County News



November 2, 2005


Sitting down for what's right


By Alex McRae, Columnist


On Nov. 13, 2003, in response to a court order, a large stone monument depicting the Ten Commandments was removed from the rotunda of the Alabama state judicial building.


At the time Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ranted and raved and said the Ten Commandments deserved a place in the state's building. He took his case to a higher court and lost. Then he lost his seat on the Alabama court.


That doesn't matter. This does: there is an empty spot in the rotunda of the Alabama judicial building which needs to be filled.


I suggest a statue of Rosa Parks.


The soft-spoken, steel-willed Alabama woman who became an accidental icon of the civil rights movement passed away on Oct. 24 at age 92.


Parks has been called the "mother of the civil rights movement." She is much more than that. She is a true American hero in every sense of the word.


Rosa Parks wasn't a celebrity in December of 1955 when she got on a Montgomery bus to ride home after a hard day's work. She was just tired and eager to get off her feet.


She took a seat in the front of the "colored" section" of the bus. When the "white" section in the front half of the bus filled up, the driver told Parks and three other black women to move to the back so a white man could have their seats.


The other three women moved. Parks didn't.


After the incident, Parks said she kept her seat because she was tired. It was years before she revealed that what she was really tired of was being unable to eat at lunch counters whose menus started with "Whites Only." She was tired of being sent off to the all-black balcony of "Whites-only" movie theaters. She was tired of being a second class citizen.


And in December 1955, she kept her seat, and her dignity, and said, "No more." She was arrested, hauled to jail and booked. Four days later Parks was fined $4 for disorderly conduct.


White officials thought that was the end of the incident. They never guessed it was the spark that kindled a movement that would change America forever.


The same day Parks paid her fine a young Montgomery preacher named Martin Luther King Jr., decided the time had come for the black community to fight back. He organized a boycott of the Montgomery bus system.


The 381-day boycott crippled the local transit system and led the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a lower court ruling that Montgomery's segregated bus service was unconstitutional. Things in Montgomery would never be the same.


I wasn't there when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. But I was in Montgomery from 1960-65, when the repercussions of her decision tore the city apart.


I was there when riots broke out over the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and there in 1965 when thousands marched from Selma to Montgomery in a bloody cry for justice that eventually led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.


I was there when the "white" and "colored" signs started coming down all over Montgomery and America. I didn't realize it was largely the result of one woman's act of courage.


The Civil Rights struggle that sprang from Rosa Parks' decision divided this nation bitterly. But it left us a better country, a country finally ready to admit that that the phrase "All men are created equal" was more than a nice slogan for school kids to memorize.


Whenever this nation has needed heroes, they have always appeared. Some in the most improbable places, like the seat of a bus.


By sitting still, Rosa Parks moved an entire nation.


If Alabama needs another monument, they couldn't pick a better subject to honor.

Alex McRae is a columnist and feature writer with the Times-Herald in Newnan.


11-4-05 Demeaning Rosa Parks -Boortz





November 3, 2005    “Neal Nuze”



Other than Bill and Hillary, just who were the featured luminaries at the funeral of Rosa Parks yesterday?  Why, none other than race pimps Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton!  Fifty years after Rosa Parks made her stand on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama this is the best we can do? 

Fifty years of the civil rights movement and the best they can do to honor Rosa Parks is to present to the American people is a man who rushed to the scene of Martin Luther King's assassination so that he could wipe blood on his shirt and another man  who's record of lies and calls to violence have resulted in the deaths of innocent people? 

Meanwhile, in Maryland, liberals who would be quick to profess their allegiance to the civil rights movement are tossing Oreo cookies at the black Lt. Governor of Maryland who is running for a U.S. Senate seat.  A liberal website depicts Lt. Governor Michael Steele as a black-faced minstrel while other good liberals call him an Uncle Tom.  A black New Yorker who doesn't like the fact that Michael Steele hasn't toed the Democratic Party line calls him "Simple Sambo."  Kweisi Mfume, the former NAACP president, sees no problem with the name-calling and racial epithets. 

He says that the race baiters are just "pointing out the obvious." 

Rosa Parks would be so proud….

10-14-05 Press Chose Jesse Jackson & Farrakhan as ‘Black Leaders’


The Savannah Morning News    October 14, 2005                 LETTERS


It's up to black people, not the media, to choose who their leaders are

Savannah Resident

…..I don't know whether racism played a part in the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, but the response wasn't fast enough and there continues to be confusion. Some officials have spoken about taking responsibility. Their actions will provide evidence as to their sincerity.

There have been many letters about Katrina. Most have been sensitive to the plight of all people in that region. A few blame the victims for not getting out in a timely matter, for looting, for being godless and lawless.

We must remember that what we see on TV is what the producers want us to see. The image of lawless, out-of-control black people reconfirms a view already held by too many people.

I grow weary of bearing responsibility for the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and other so-called black leaders. All were given the title of "black leader" by the press. If the press stopped reporting what they say, as if every black person in the country had the same opinion, they might find some other way to occupy themselves.

Black people have a leader. His name is George W. Bush. As long as black leaders speak for black citizens and are taken seriously by white people, black people as a group will remain second-class or less than the other citizens of the United States.

When Pat Robertson makes a statement that has no merit it is widely reported, but no one calls him a white leader. It is demeaning to a people to give them a leader.

11-6-05 America Buried Rosa Parks this Week


The Anderson Independent-Mail



November 6, 2005


Rosa Parks was one of many heroes


By Samantha Epps


This week America buried Rosa Parks, the woman known as the mother of the modern-day civil rights movement.


I was so excited to see that local bus systems reserved seats on their buses this week to honor Mrs. Parks’ sacrifice in not giving up her seat for a white passenger so many years ago.


It struck me, though, that most of the people on the bus were too young to even remember a time when buses — or anything for that matter — were segregated.


I remember being annoyed as a young student when my grandmother insisted that I sit at the front of the bus. She knew that I would get into less trouble there, but I wanted to sit in the back with the cool kids.

Later, my uncle told me the story of Mrs. Parks, and I never sat in the back again.


I rode a bus at Clemson University on the day the seat was reserved in Mrs. Parks’ memory. The college students that I talked to on the bus were obviously well-educated about Mrs. Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


But they spoke about Mrs. Parks as though she were some stoic figure in their history books.


They had no idea what life was like for her.


They reminded me of that episode of The Cosby Show where Theo tried to write an essay about the March on Washington.

He used history books, but never consulted his parents and grandparents about it.


It turned out that Theo’s folks had actually been to the march, and they gave him a beautifully moving first-hand account of the day.

Sometimes I forget that the Cosbys didn’t actually exist.

But those college students and I have a lot in common with Theo.


We may not have been alive when segregation was still a practice on buses, but we all know someone who was.


Our first thought may be to stay away from the topic, priding ourselves on how far we’ve progressed. But it may do us good to realize just how different things were a few decades ago.


These days we seem surprised when someone calls another person a racist or suggests that his actions were motivated by cultural prejudices.


But if we stopped to think that the person we’re talking about might have grown up in a world where people of different races were separated and knew little about each other, we may think twice.


Racial profiling, for example, was not only a common practice, but a widely accepted way of life when my father was a young man.


The things he went through paved the way for me to live a life totally oblivious of fearing retaliation for socializing with white people.


Thanks to his generation, I am free to enjoy country music and hang out at places like The Hushpuppy Café (hey, they’ve got great wings).


Whenever I hear the stories of my family members’ experiences during segregation, it makes me proud of their strength and determination.

That’s always a good thing.


Mrs. Parks was a heroine whose life deserved every bit of celebration it received.


But I bet you know someone else who helped her to win her fight.

Take a seat and ask all about it.