Talk:Rosa Parks

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Feel Free[edit]

Everyboby should feel free to edit, add , expand , and in general help impove this article.--McNoddy 10:13, 7 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.
  • Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.
  • I didn't want to pay my fare and then go around the back door, because many times, even if you did that, you might not get on the bus at all. They'd probably shut the door, drive off, and leave you standing there.
  • My only concern was to get home after a hard day's work.
  • Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.
  • I wanted to be free as everybody else. I didn't want to be constantly humiliated for something I had no influence on: the color of my skin.
  • Somebody has to say "Stop!" some time, and that seemed to be the right station to stop the constant harassment and find out, which human rights I was entitled to.
  • Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground.
  • James Blake: Well, I'm going to have you arrested.
    Rosa Parks: You may go on and do so.

The correct quotation is as follows (from Rosa Parks: My Story, p 116): "He said 'Well, I'm going to have you arrested.' Then I said 'You may do that.'"

important detail: she was not arrested for not giving up her seat to a white man[edit]

Hi all,

This is an important and almost universally misunderstood aspect of Rosa Parks' first arrest: She did not refuse to give up her seat so that a white man could sit down in it. She refused to give up her seat so that it could sit *empty* beside a white man. When more white people got onto a full bus, the entire row of blacks would have to rise and go to the back so that one person could sit down with three empty seats beside them. Having the whites and blacks sitting next to each other would have been unthinkable.

Here's direct source material to back that up from Rosa Parks' autobiography, My Story:

p. 113-115 (photo on page 114 splits the sentence):

"I saw a vacant seat in the middle section of the bus and took it."

p. 115:

"There was a man sitting next to the window and two women across the aisle.

  The next stop was the Empire Theater, and some whites got on. They filled up the white seats, and one man was left standing. The driver looked back and noticed the man standing. Then he looked back at us. He said, "Let me have those front seats," because they were the front seats of the black section. Didn't anybody move. We just sat right where we were, the four of us. Then he spoke a second time: "Y'all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats."
  The man in the window seat next to me stood up, and I moved to let him pass by me, and then I looked across the aisle and saw that the two women were also standing. I moved over to the window seat." it's even more humiliating than the story is commonly understood to be. She was arrested for not vacating a seat so that it could sit empty *across the aisle* from a seated white man, with two empty seats between them.

I didn't see a possibility to edit the top section of the page (and I'm admittedly not too wiki-savvy), so I'm opening this discussion with an appeal for someone else to fix the inaccuracy in the page summary at the top.

It currently says:

She is famous for her refusal on December 1, 1955 to obey bus driver James Blake's demand that she relinquish her seat to a white man.

I suggest a revision to:

She is famous for her refusal on December 1, 1955 to obey bus driver James Blake's demand that she relinquish her seat so that it could sit empty across the aisle from a white man.

We should not soften the injustice, and I know that the wiki community values accuracy a great deal. Thanks for your help with this.


David LaMotte