25 October 2005

In Memoriam: Rosa Parks

"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear." (Rosa Parks)

Rosa Parks, angel of the Civil Rights movement, died last night in her home in Detroit. She was 92 years old.

In my work in public libraries, I have seen Ms. parks' remarkable story bring the Civil Rights movement alive to countless children. While they learn of many heroes -- people who faced daunting odds and challenges yet fought to make the world a better place in spite of this -- somehow, children seem able to relate to this story of a woman who had worked hard and was tired and was sick of being told where to sit on the bus. Stories of her life are always in demand in the public library, hopefully inspiring the next generation who will fight for justice in an unjust world.

There is an interview with Rosa Parks, conducted in 1996, here and a profile by Rita Dove here. Obituaries abound on the web, including this one on CNN.

Also, for a gorgeous picture book treatment of Rosa Parks' story, check out Nikki Giovanni's newest book, Rosa.

Rosa once said, "Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others." I wish peace to Rosa's loved ones and hope they find comfort and inspiration in knowing how deeply she touched -- and changed -- our world.

No comments: