Rosa Parks finished her day as a department store seamstress, and that particular day, she was really feeling tired – tied of prejudicial treatment. When the bus came, she paid her fare and absent mindedly took a seat, and a while later, after stops and passengers entering and leaving the bus, when the driver announced that blacks had to get up so whites could sit down, Rosa Parks said no. It was the law and she wasn’t the first black passenger to say no and Parks wasn’t the first to be tossed off the bus or arrested either. Pressure had been greatly increased earlier in the year when a 15-year-old girl, Claudette Colvin, was arrested on March 2, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. She was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council.
Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott
On that particular day of December 1, 1955, it wasn’t understood by the nation that Rosa Parks was happily married, gainfully employed, attractive and serious, and a member of the NAACP — and that added up to the perfect score for Civil Disobedience and the early African-American Civil Rights movement. It was the perfect combination of conditions for the city that was about to get the world’s attention. Overnight, thousands of flyers were copied and by that next morning, huge numbers of Montgomery’s blacks were boycotting the bus company.
Parks was fired from her job. After this, very few blacks would ride and the events brought national attention to Montgomery — many blacks even rode mules or got sore feet. Black cabbies began to drive their black passengers for 10¢ (the same fare the bus company charged) — later on, their insurance would be canceled.
Martin Luther King, Jr. made speeches, and his house was firebombed. Two white men, Raymond D. York and Sonny Kyle Livingston, confessed to the bombing, but were acquitted anyway. Other whites spoke out against the violence, and it eventually subsided.
Fifty-five weeks after the boycott began, the Supreme Court ruled that since blacks and whites paid the same fare, they had the same right to a seat, and on 20 December 1956, Mrs. Parks paid 10¢ and sat wherever she pleased.
Rosa Parks Interview (Merv Griffin Show 1983):
Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks tells Merv the famous story of her refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 and her subsequent arrest— the event widely regarded as the spark which lit the flames of the Civil Rights Movement. She also talks about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
. For a complete list of individuals who have lain in state or lain in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, see The Architect of the Capitol website.
For more on Rosa Parks and related articles, see Wikipedia.
Thanks for learning with me. I hope you’ll check back frequently. There is lots more to learn.
Today, I am thinking about Martin Luther King Day. I don’t often blog about leaders and when I do it isn’t to stir up controversy. Today, my objective is to stir up genuine authentic people to empower (get charged) and to then encourage more others to enter this age of authentic being. Today, also, I look to the leadership, past and present. What am I learning from them and by being me?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15 1929 – April 4 1968) was a Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and he was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize of 1964. I admire him. More though, he still inspires my faith and his greatest lessons resonate in me.
The thing that resonates most with me today is his speech “We’ve been in the mountain of war. We’ve been in the mountain of violence. We’ve been in the mountain of hatred long enough. It is necessary to move on now, but only by moving out of this mountain can we move to the promised land of justice and brotherhood and the Kingdom of God. It all boils down to the fact that we must never allow ourselves to become satisfied with unattained goals. We must always maintain a kind of divine discontent.”
Quotes and Reflection…
this weekend in memory of
Dr. King and Divine Discontent:
“How do you go about loving your enemies? I think the first thing is this: In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self. And I’m sure that seems strange to you, that I start out telling you this morning that you love your enemies by beginning with a look at self. It seems to me that that is the first and foremost way to come to an adequate discovery to the how of this situation. … some people aren’t going to like you. They’re going to dislike you, not because of something that you’ve done to them, but because of various jealous reactions and other reactions that are so prevalent in human nature.
But after looking at these things and admitting these things, we must face the fact that an individual might dislike us because of something that we’ve done deep down in the past, some personality attribute that we possess, something that we’ve done deep down in the past and we’ve forgotten about it; but it was that something that aroused the hate response within the individual.
That is why I say, begin with yourself. There might be something within you that arouses the tragic hate response in the other individual.”
Now, we can move forward. If you hated me,
then look not at me then, look at me now.
I must honestly join with Dr. King and say to you that I intend to adjust myself too…
As I said, this isn’t about controversy. For more than 200 years now, this country invited the masses from wherever they were to come here and to create glorious wealth and opportunity. I am for happy, joyous, and free people and the use of the loving energy that is the fulfillment of that dream. I am for a culture that maintains prosperity mindedness.
Sometimes, we get into a contrast and there we discover what we do not want.
Dr. King: Creative Maladjustment “I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous, but Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism.
I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheel base on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity. The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation.
They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth.
Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem.
You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth.
God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and He has left in this universe “enough and to spare” for that purpose.
So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth.”
Sure, its a huge job; I understand that…
I want the powerful forces for creating plenty. We do not have to suffer from lack; there is plenty. So, how may we move from the knowing what we don’t want to getting what we want?
Dr. King: Power of Love
We must discover the power of love; the power, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. We will be able to make men better. Love is the only way.
So, what may I do? I was a pacifist. No more. I am a man to radiate love and inner peacefulness. So, I remind you, love thy neighbor as thy self. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The whole of you knows this.
Stop watching TV programs that promote mindlessness and even abandon the news stories if these take you away from who you are and your intention to be authentic. Spare not a moment for futile regret.
When we confess our shortcomings to be done with these and live in the present; in every moment; in the light of loving one another; there is not scarcity.
This is not a warning. This is true. You need you, family needs you, neighbors need you, community needs you, workplaces need you, leaders need you. If you understand this, you stand at the foundation of a culture of plenty. You are a divine being. In alignment of love, you are awesome.
Many of you are from a variety of countries and you may have a variety of spiritual practices. These are mostly free places where you may promote the axioms of freedom and prosperity. Your spiritual practices are founded upon love. Do this in your homes and at your schools and in the workplace and throughout your day practice tolerance, acceptance, loving and being authentic.
We are to be ably peaceful but powerfully the essence of love; you and I are love. We are filled by the energy that creates the universe with the ability to co-create loving homes, communities, places of worship, and workplaces.
The kind of change that is welcome is change that promotes the good for all. Living in loving alignment is living in the power that promotes eternal life. It is love. Be love.
Last month, in December of 2013, I wrote about and I promoted posts to bring about inner-awareness and self-improvements. This month we are in a New Year and this is the year that I am dedicating to changing the world. The world changes for good by experiences of love. This world wants the aligning power of love. I know you understand this and that you will do what you can do to be love.