"Take advantage of the opportunities, no matter how few there are." --Rosa Parks
When I was a kid when asked who I wanted to be when I grew up more often than not my answer was Rosa Parks. As a kid I didn't understand that Rosa Parks was larger than life, a character I could never become. When all my other friends wanted to be women like Sally Ride and Shannon Miller, women who were currently at the top of their fields, I wanted to be a civil rights icon from a year foreign to me. All I wanted was to hold inside me that type of courage, that type of strength, and that solid recognition of what was right and wrong for the sake of history and an entire race. Not a lot has changed since I was a kid.
This morning when I read that Rosa Parks passed away, I'll be honest with you, I cried. There is this unbelievable respect, admiration, and honor I hold for Rosa Parks and will for the rest of my life.
In my view of history the Civil Rights Movement began December 1, 1955 when an unknown black seamstress refused to move to the back of the bus. In my view of history it was one of the most important events of that era. In my view of history I hold her higher than the likes of Jack and Bobby Kennedy. She never has competition in my mind because she exemplified grace under fire. Even today, fifty years later, people know who Rosa Parks was and they know what she did. Actions do in fact speak louder than words.