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 Do you know " Rosa Parks "?

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Number of posts : 853
Age : 57
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Do you know " Rosa Parks "?   Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:44 pm

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Rosa Parks in 1955, with Martin Luther King, Jr. In the background
Rosa Parks (1913 - 2005): ordinary person with extraordinary courage

On June 15, 1999, Rosa Parks, the lady who said “no” to racial segregation in 1955, and a person whom I esteem greatly, was honoured by her country on a nationally televised ceremony, with its highest award for bravery - a Congressional Gold Medal of Honour. Watching the bestowment was a pleasure. It was inspiring to see top American officialdom, the president included, belatedly recognizing Rosa's heroic rebellion against racial segregation in the Southern United States as an
outstanding act of bravery.

When measuring how outstanding Rosa's act was, relative to the Southern political situation at the time, its fair to say that it stands
comparable with any act of recorded bravery in history. The fact that
she set personal safety considerations aside for an ideal, which put her
into an extremely dangerous position, speaks for itself. To help the
reader appreciate how brave Rosa's act was, I'll provide a short
overview of how people of African ancestry were mistreated and
terrorized when segregation laws prevailed in the southern US.

For a white to murder, rape or otherwise assault a black during those years was of little or no consequence. It was almost unheard of for whites to be convicted for such heinous crimes, no matter how damming the evidence. On the other hand, blacks stood to be convicted of the most serious of felonies simply on the word of a white person. Thus, for a black to take a contrary stand against a white demand, or position, was
inviting the most deadliest of retribution. When it came to justice for
the black citizen, as the uncountable numbers of unpunished heinous
crimes from that time against blacks attest, the white southerner
reigned supreme and safe from retribution.

Rosa's serene and unpretentious demeanour made her an unlikely hero. Her occupation in 1955 was employment as a seamstress with the Montgomery Fair Department Store. The most fitting description I can think of is that she is like most of us - an ordinary person. However, she proved to the World that a humble, ordinary person can stand tall and become extraordinary under certain circumstances by standing up for principles.
Her determination not to be degraded any longer because of her race,
which she was justly proud of, brought her to the forefront.

The historic moment that Rosa begot, by declining to abide by the
provisions of an unjust law, began on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama, city transport bus on the afternoon of December 1, 1955. Returning home from work, she and three other black passengers were ordered by the bus driver to give up their seats in the first row of the black section to accommodate standing whites. Three complied; Rosa refused.

After Rosa's refusal - a “no” that ignited a storm of indignation and protest that changed American and international society forever - she was charged under a city ordinance enacted to regulate how different racial groups were to travel on the city's segregated buses. To protest the
charge, the city's Black population, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
began a bus boycott that ended December 1956, when the United States
Supreme Court threw out the bus ordinance. For having the courage to
defy white oppression, Rosa received many death threats that eventually,
for the safety of her family, forced her to move to safer territory in
At Rosa's medal presentation, President Bill Clinton reminded Americans
that for millions of their countrymen, the promise of liberty was
illusive in 1955, by pointing out: "And as she sat, anchored to that
seat, as Dr. King said, by the ‘accumulated indignities of days gone by
and the countless aspirations of generations yet unborn."* Her
Republican Senator from Michigan, Spencer Abraham added: "Few of us,
with all our high offices, will accomplish what Rosa Parks did with just
one action."*

As I write this salute to a hero, I can't help but make a comparison
between the racial segregation practices that Canada once enforced and
those once enforced in the Southern United States. In the South, Blacks
were segregated from whites by legal statute and treated as second-class
citizens. In Canada, although blacks were treated disgracefully, First
Nations Peoples were treated worse.

We were legally segregated by statute across the entire Nation and
suffered the indignity of second-class citizenship until recently. It
was in the mid-1950s when lingering Native citizenship questions were
resolved by an amendment to the Citizenship Act, and the early 1960s
when we were first allowed to vote; and the laws that forbade us from
buying and possessing alcohol, among other demeaning laws, were finally repealed in 1985.

Rosa's heroic refusal to comply with the degrading provisions of a segregation law was the act which signaled the beginning of the end of racial segregation in the southern United States. For her fortitude, I shall
always be grateful. The worldwide publicity generated from her encounter
with segregation's guardians had a positive effect in ending the
segregation that Registered Indians suffered in Canada.

Always mindful that the battle for racial equality is not over, Rosa included these words in her acceptance speech: "This will be encouragement for all of us to continue until all people have equal rights." A remarkable and caring lady!

Rosa Parks, born 1913, known as the mother of the civil rights movement, passed away on October 24, 2005.

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PostSubject: Re: Do you know " Rosa Parks "?   Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:56 pm

The Woman Who Changed a Nation
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PostSubject: AIEEE 2012 Solutions | AIEEE 2012 Answer Keys - askIITians   Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:55 pm

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