African American History
May 15, 2021
What Would Rosa Parks Think About The World Today?
The current events that are happening in this world now are scary. Many people are losing their lives and the world is becoming a scarier place to live. The African American community has been hit the hardest. For many centuries, the African American community has been in this long fight for their rights. As we look through history, we often see the name Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks is known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement”. Rosa Parks did something that most members of the African American community were afraid to do, and this sparked a movement that would better the lives of many African Americans. Even though she was a woman of color that did not have the rights she deserved, she stood up to the people who were taking them away from her. She had a long fight for her rights and it shows when you look back in history. She started a movement that would forever change the world.
Back in 1955, Rosa Parks made a simple decision that would change the world. On the way home from a long day of work, Rosa Parks got on the bus and found a spot to sit. This was one of the last spots available on the bus. Later on, a white man came onto the bus and the bus driver tried to get Rosa Parks to give up her seat, since she was African American and he was white. She refused to get up and later one she was arrested for not giving up her seat. She was arrested because the law meant African Americans had to stand if a white person came aboard and there was no seat available. This should not matter what color their skin is, but back then it did. After Rosa Parks did this, a Civil Rights Movement for the rights of the African American Community started. Although we have made some tremendous progress, the African American community still is facing unjust rights.
Rosa Parks has gone down in history for her actions and helping the start of the movement for the rights of the African American community. As we are now in the 21st century, a lot has happened. We are currently in the middle of a movement called Black Lives Matter, BLM for short. As this protest goes on, there is always a question of “What would Rosa Parks think of this?” Rosa Parks would be all for Black Lives Matter, but would she be for all the violence that has occured from it? I do not think so. Rosa Parks was often seen at protests giving speeches but was never part of the violence. The looting and the police brutality would be something she would not support. She wanted equal rights, but she did not want people to lose things from this. Some of the stores that people looted were African Americans. Why would you want to steal from the people we are trying to support and get them to earn their rights? Rosa Parks would be extremely upset that this is happening and would probably make a speech showing that she is extremely upset with some of the behaviors taking place. This is a time we need to all come together, not tear each other down.
If Rosa Parks were still alive, she would most definitely be at a rally to show her support to her community. During Rosa Parks’ life, she did spend a good amount of time at rallies, or as called back then “Boycotts”. Parks was often found speaking at rallies and at the heart of the rallies. The rallies that are going on today for BLM are located all over the US, Rosa Parks would be traveling to the biggest rallies and spreading awareness about the situations going on. She would probably be on some sort of board to show her appreciation and show that changes need to happen. Although at times these protests did get out of hand, such as the looting and robbing innocent businesses, Rosa Parks would support most of it. The marches were a big way that she liked to show her support for the black community. Marches can be very powerful especially when you get thousands of people together. According to “Black Leadership and Civil Rights: Transforming the Curriculum, Inspiring Student Activism,” Evelyn M. Simien states, “African American women have a long history of political activism.” This is evident today, especially considering that the Black Lives Matter Movement was founded by three women.
Rosa Parks would support these women and would be super proud of these women for starting a movement that is going to better the lives of many people. Rosa Parks was all for women being in charge. She always thought that women did not have a fair say in anything and she wanted more than ever for people to believe in women. Many women did not hold offices and become leaders of anything during this time. She fought long and hard to show that a woman’s voice is powerful and just as important as men. Rosa Parks would be so happy to see that her hard work has paid off. There are so many African Americans who have started different movements and held so many different offices. These people continue to show others that a woman is just as important as a male. Everyone needs to have their own rights and if that means we have to start a movement or protest, then we will do it. Rosa Parks will always be supporting the movements for not only African Americans, but any group of people who do not have their rights they deserve.
Even though these movements start from either people losing their rights or even someone losing their life. In Rosa Parks’ case, her journey for civil rights began when she was denied her seat on the bus. Today the Black Lives Matter Movement has started due to the lost lives of many African Americans, such as George Floyd. George Floyd was an African American citizen who lost his life due to police brutality. He was held pinned on the ground for a long period of time. This unfortunately caused him to lose his life. The reason he was supposedly pinned down was for being wanted for using a counterfeit $20. Even though George Floyd had a criminal history for many things, he should not have been held and lost his life the way he did. During the Black Lives Matter Movement, a common phrase that was used, “I can’t breathe and Hands Up, don’t shoot”. (White, 654) These lines were often some of the last words of African Americans who have lost their lives due to unfair treatment. When you are reading these lines, they just make your heart hurt. These are lines that no one should ever have to say in their life, and unfortunately so many African Americans have had to.
Rosa Parks would want to make sure there is a plan set in place to gain back the rights of the African American community. She always had a plan before setting out the movement, always with an underlying goal of making sure that ALL PEOPLE get the rights they deserve. There are ways that these types of movements should be done and there are ways that it can harm the past and where we have come from. Rosa Parks was a true character in making sure we keep moving in the right direction during these times. Her determination and strive to make her community a better place was a driving force behind the movements she set out. During her movement in the twentieth century she moved closer to the protests so she could continue to fight for everyone’s rights. If this does not show you her dedication to gaining the rights, I am not sure what would.
If Rosa Parks was to try and find a cause for the reason why the Black Lives Matter Movement started, she probably would have said it started because of the injustice in the world. She was always passionate about the importance of community. She always wanted everyone to be treated with respect and equally, regardless of their skin tone. She would set out a list of goals that she would want everyone to follow and make sure it was very clear what we were fighting for. In a speech discussing civil rights, Rosa Parks once said “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” (Simien) This is something that is still extremely impactful and evident today. We need to not live here even though it is a scary place. Rosa Parks never showed any fear in her work. She was always making sure that she put others before her and she would be doing the same thing now.
Rosa Parks would be very upset and disappointed if she knew what was going on today. She fought so hard to get her rights and the rights for others for them just to be taken away from the African American community again. She would not let this stop her. She would sit down with her team and figure out a plan. She was all about coming up with a plan and not stopping till it was solved. Making plans and making sure they were followed is something that Rosa Parks was extremely passionate about. She always made sure that everyone had a role in whatever was going on. Every single person played a role in the movements and daily life of Rosa Parks. She was one of the biggest team players out there. Rosa Parks would be happy to see that so many people have come together to rally for the rights of the African American and many other communities. Rosa Parks may not be here today, but you bet she is watching over every single one of these movements and smiling ear to ear.
Rosa Parks has left a legacy on this Earth and has helped so many African Americans gain the rights they deserve. If she was not brave enough to do what she did on that bus, who knows where we would be today. If she was alive today, she would be standing up for everyone’s rights. I would almost bet that you would see her in the middle of that crowd giving a speech and showing her appreciation for her community around her. She is the driving force behind BLM and we will continue to fight until everyone is treated equally and fairly. As Rosa Parks once said, “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” This is a quote that everyone should remember and live by. Everyone must be treated with respect and everyone should be treated equally.
Estrada, S. (2019, October 25). Rosa parks: Spiritual godmother to BLM. Retrieved May 03, 2021, from https://www.diversityinc.com/rosa-parks-spiritual-godmother-to-blm/
Schwartz, B. (n.d.). Collective forgetting and the symbolic power Of ONENESS: The strange apotheosis Of Rosa parks – Barry Schwartz, 2009. Retrieved May 03, 2021, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/019027250907200204
Simien, Evelyn M. “Black Leadership and Civil Rights: Transforming the Curriculum, Inspiring Student Activism.” PS: Political Science and Politics, vol. 36, no. 4, 2003, pp. 747–750. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3649272. Accessed 3 May 2021.
White, D. G., Bay, M., & Martin, W. E. (2021). Freedom on my mind: A history of African Americans, with documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins.