25 October 2005

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks passed away yesterday. MSN has a good article, but my memorial was to read one of my favorite essays by Sarah Vowell, Rosa Parks, C'est Moi, which I first heard on public radio on This American Life. It made me buy Sarah's book, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, just so that I could read that essay out loud to people, or make them read it.

Anything I could say about Rosa Parks would be utterly banal. I was born long after the Montgomery bus boycott and have never known a segregated society. (That's one for those "incoming freshmen have never known a world without CD players" lists. When I was an incoming freshman, I had never known a world that would prevent a child from going to school with me because she didn't happen to be white. Thank you, Mrs. Parks.)

I'll stop here because, while to quote Tom Lehrer, it takes a certain amount of courage to get up in a coffee-house or a college auditorium and come out in favor of the things that everybody else in the audience is against like peace and justice and brotherhood and so on, having to this well-fed, Montgomery County, white girl speak out against racism isn't saying much. I'll leave it to the people who know what they're talking about and have more to talk about worth listening to than I.

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