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Today marks 64 years since Rosa Parks made history by refusing to give up her seat on the Bus.

This act launched the Montgomery Bus Boycotts and subsequently shifted the Civil Rights movement. ImageImage
Rosa Parks is often credited as the initiator of bus protests. However, earlier that same year 15 y/o Claudette Colvin was arrested for refusing to yield her seat in Montgomery.

There are also a number of other Black women who similarly protested segregation prior to Parks. Image
Rosa Parks was more than the tired woman she is often painted to be. Parks was a longtime organizer in the Civil Rights Movement prior to her bus protests.

Rosa Parks was even involved in raising defense funds for Claudette Colvin.
Rosa Parks’ 1955 protest was not the first time she protested the bus segregation either.

In fact, she had an interaction with the same bus driver in 1943 in which she was ejected from the bus for refusing to enter through the back door. Image
Rosa was not sitting in the white only section. She was asked to give up her seat in the ‘colored’ section after the White seats were filled.

Parks has also debunked the fact that she was seated because she was tired writing: “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” Image
In the years following, the Montgomery Boycotts took off. Parks became a key organizer but faced many penalties including arrests, death threats, and even being forced out of her hometown. Image
Celebrity did not come until decades later. Even now, Rosa Parks’ story is often misconstrued.

It is important that we remember and celebrate Rosa Parks for the savvy activist that she was rather than the tired working woman trope that she has been painted to be. Image
We also must remember Rosa Parks in the context of a movement much greater than her alone.

We must honor those whose protests go uncelebrated:

Claudette Colvin
Aurelia Browder
Mary Smith
Susie McDonald...
And the countless other revolutionaries whose names we may never know. ImageImage
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