The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

February 27, 2013

Rosa Parks statue set to be unveiled at Capitol

(Continued)

"Rosa Parks is typically honored as a woman of courage, but that honor focuses on the one act she made on the bus on Dec. 5, 1955," said Theoharis, a political science professor at Brooklyn College-City University of New York.

"That courage, that night was the product of decades of political work before that and continued ... decades after" in Detroit, she said.

Parks died Oct. 24, 2005, at age 92. The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in her honor on Feb. 4, which would have been her 100th birthday.

Parks was raised by her mother and grandparents who taught her that part of being respected was to demand respect, said Theoharis, who spent six years researching and writing the Parks biography.

She was an educated woman who recalled seeing her grandfather sitting on the porch steps with a gun during the height of white violence against blacks in post-World War I Alabama.

After she married Raymond Parks, she joined him in his work in trying to help nine young black men, ages 12 to 19, who were accused of raping two white women in 1931. The nine were later convicted by an all-white jury in Scottsboro, Ala., part of a long legal odyssey for the so-called Scottsboro Boys.

In the 1940s, Parks joined the NAACP and was elected secretary of its Montgomery, Ala., branch, working with civil rights activist Edgar Nixon to fight barriers to voting for blacks and investigate sexual violence against women, Theoharis said.

Just five months before refusing to give up her seat, Parks attended Highlander Folk School, which trained community organizers on issues of poverty but had begun turning its attention to civil rights.

After the bus boycott, Parks and her husband lost their jobs and were threatened. They left for Detroit, where Parks was an activist against the war in Vietnam and worked on poverty, housing and racial justice issues, Theoharis said.

Text Only
Lifestyle
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee