Few people in history can claim to have truly changed the world, and even fewer by one simple act. But Rosa Parks, who died this week at 92, did just that. On Dec. 1, 1955, she boarded a bus in Montgomery, Ala., and helped launch a revolution against bigotry and ignorance by refusing to yield her seat to a white man. She later said she was tired — not physically so much as weary of putting up with second-class citizenship in a nation founded on the principle that all men are created equal. Mrs. Parks’ defiance was one more nail in the coffin of Jim Crow, and the United States would never be the same.
It is almost unfathomable that barely 50 years ago it was illegal in many parts of the country for blacks to sit in the front of public buses, or eat at lunch counters or drink from the same water fountains as whites. Rosa Parks’ protest inspired thousands of others to engage in civil disobedience against such tyranny. Soon, blacks and whites, Christians and Jews, old and young were taking to the streets to march against injustice and demand that this nation live up to its ideals. But the modern civil rights movement began with the Montgomery bus boycott sparked by Rosa Parks.
Read the rest–as Chavez concludes, “America is a better place for Rosa Parks. She will be missed by all who value freedom”.