February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005
"Stand up and be counted", we say. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks counted more them any of us by refusing to stand up. When she refused to stand up she was not only affirming the dignity and humanity of black Americans, she was affirming the dignity and humanity of us all. There is a fundamental respect to be given to all humanity whatever their skin color.
She did more then that one thing though. By her quiet and dignified life she was an example others who are always seeking center stage should take a cue from.
Her seven hour funeral will be little remembered. To my knowledge no great oratory came from the numbers of public speakers, famous or infamous, who were there; apparently nothing to equal the words spoken so many years ago, "I have a dream..." that gave a vision that all human beings could relate to.
How odd it was. That night after her funeral I was at our local Meijers store. At the checkout line I was standing behind a black American family having their purchases checked by a black American cashier.
It was then I turned to look at the magazine rack. On the front covers of all the glamor rags and tabloids there was not one black face. They were all pale white. I wondered if I had been black, what would I have thought if I saw all pale faces on the magazine rack like that.
Now it may be considered a positive thing not to be represented on shallow glamour rags and cheap sleeze tabloids with all their cheap meaningless gossip. Where is the dignity and respect for humanity in those publications?
Rosa Parks showed us a better way, not just by that one act in 1955. She showed us a better way by the way she lived the rest of her life with quite dignity. She made a differnce.
Thank you Mrs. Parks.
~ The Billy Goat ~