Tired of Giving In: Remembering Rosa Parks
Ever since I can remember, my mother took the bus to get to work. She would leave the house before 6 am, walking several blocks to the bus stop then spend an hour on the bus to get to work. The bus would bring her home after the sun went down. On most nights, my father, brother and I would pick her up at the bus stop so she wouldn’t have to walk home in the dark. When I first learned about Rosa Parks in elementary school, I thought about my mother. I thought about what it would have been like for her to have been on that bus and told to move because of the color of her skin. I thought about how after working ten hours on her feet, she would have to move because of an absurdly hateful law. Luckily she didn’t have to due to the courageous acts of civil disobedience of women like Mrs. Parks. While Rosa Parks was not the first person to refuse to move to the back of the bus, her action served as the impetus to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. When asked why she didn’t give up her seat, she explained it wasn’t because she was tired or because she was old. She stated, “No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” Her seemingly simple gesture fueled a national movement. But this wasn’t the only time she refused to give in. Jim Crow laws discouraged African Americans from civic engagement. During one election season, Mrs. Parks made three attempts to register to vote before she finally succeeded. The thought of giving in never crossed her mind. Her modest but persistent boldness endures and I draw upon it to personally refuse to give in to injustice. Rosa Parks died at the age of 92 on October 24, 2005. We honor her courage and unwillingness to “give in.” Visit our Online Action Center to get involved today.