Rosa Parks Was Not Tired – Correction to Rosa Parks Myth

From Jon Greenbaum, Metro Justice Organizer (Rochester, NY) :

Ms. Parks was the secretary of the Montgomery NAACP and as secretary she was involved in the strategic planning of the organization to challenge Jim Crow by challenging the Montgomery segregated bus policy.

At the time the NAACP was looking for a test case to challenge bus segregation. They needed a plaintiff. Two black women, at separate times, had refused to give up their seats- an elderly women and Claudette Colvin, a fifteen year old girl. The older woman had gotten off the bus before the police arrived but Claudette continued to refuse and was arrested.

E.D. Nixon, a former Pullman Porter and the current President of the local NAACP interviewed Claudette to see if she would be the right defendant for a test case. Unfortunately the pregnant teen, prone to profanity, would probably not have galvanized the support of blacks in Montgomery at the time. Nixon and the local NAACP (including Ms. Parks) realized that they would need to continue looking for another case.

This wasn't the first time that a bus boycott had been attempted. Earlier, Vernon Johns, the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery had a run in with a bus driver at the front of a bus. The bus driver hurled derogatory comments at Pastor Johns. Johns turned to the black bus riders and urged them to walk off the bus with him. Johns turned and walked off the bus.

Nobody followed him.

Rosa Parks was not tired that day. Rosa Parks was a graduate of the legendary Highlander Center for grassroots organizing. Rosa Parks was a leader of a powerful grassroots organization.

Rosa Parks
Born February 4, 1913, Tuskegee, Alabama, USA
Died October 24, 2005, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Jon Greenbaum, Metro Justice Organizer (Rochester, NY)


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