Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rosa Parks' Other (Radical) Side

The Root
By: Mary C. Curtis Posted: September 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM

The flesh-and-blood Rosa Parks was a lot more interesting than the one we read about in history books. A new book details how she was a warrior for justice for black women who were brutally raped by white men in the segregated South.

Rosa Parks was a demure seamstress who defied a Montgomery, Ala., bus driver's order to give up her seat to a white man because -- on that particular day -- she was tired. Her spontaneous act sparked a 1955 bus boycott that launched the civil rights movement.
Sound familiar? It should. It's the tale told in history books. It's also just a tiny sliver of the truth. The flesh-and-blood Rosa Parks is a lot more interesting. "It's sad, I think," author Danielle L. McGuire told me. "We tend to like our heroes simple and meek."
"If we had a larger sense of who she was, a radical activist and warrior for human rights," instead of a powerless individual struck by chance, said McGuire, it would show the work and the time she put in over many years.

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