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On this date, 56 years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus. This led to her arrest, a boycott, a protest let by Dr. Martin Luther King and finally the desegregation of Montgomery, Alabama buses one year later. What a spark one person can ignite! Rosa Parks may have been portrayed as a simple woman who just didn’t feel like giving up her seat that day, but she was already actively involved in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement at that time. Her actions were purposeful and deliberate. She was making a statement, and thank goodness she did. She has earned the nicknames, “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. Since Ms. Parks lost her job in Montgomery after the bus incident, her and her husband moved up here to Michigan. She lived in Detroit until her death in 2005. During much of that time she worked for U.S. Representative John Conyers. As a resident of Metro Detroit I am used to seeing a lot of references to Rosa Parks. She is an inspiring woman and to celebrate today’s holiday I honor her memory. She proves that one person really can change the world. I put up this mini-poster in my office today to remind me how much she did for this country: 

It’s a fact that not every person is going to change the world like Rosa Parks did, but you can change your own world. Do something nice for someone and you can change their world. It’s a brilliant little domino effect that anyone can participate in. After her death, Rosa Parks became the first woman and the second non-U.S. government official allowed to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. She is now laid to rest at the Woodlawn Cemetery (same one I was at to see Edgar Guest – side note, has anyone seen this? http://detnews.com/article/20111129/OPINION03/111290324/1148/Chrysler-ad-revives-work-of-Michigan%E2%80%99s-only-poet-laureate I saw the commercial a week or so ago and got really excited!). I thought about going out there to visit her grave, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work into my schedule today. So, today I will just have to send my thoughts out to Rosa Parks. Thank you for being the person you were, you truly changed the world for the better.

Total Cost to Celebrate: $0


Clip of the Day:

I was going to use the Outkast song, Rosa Parks, until I read that Rosa Parks was actually involved in a lawsuit against Outkast for the song. Oops. That would have been embarrassing. Instead I found this clip that talks about the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement:


P.S. – I still like the Rosa Parks song by Outkast….