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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: Share Your Rosa Parks Memories

Dear VKN:

Thanks so much for inspiring Afrigeneas’ Writers Forum to pen their memories about the life of Rosa Parks.

I hope that her passing will not be overlooked by the people who need to understand her the most….our youth.

People of color and women of all colors should always remember Rosa Parks as the person whose courage inspired the Civil Rights Movement. Without her “Equal Opportunity” “Affirmative Action” and “Diversity in the Workforce” would have progressed at a slower pace…if at all.

Her defiant but dignified refusal to give up her seat on the bus became an early template for Dr. King’s Civil Disobedience. These African American Civil Rights pioneers proved that “passive resistance” was a more courageous and brave act than violence.

The fifty year-old photos of Ms. Parks being fingerprinted show a conservatively dressed but quietly beautiful woman. Her obituary in Newsday underlines the harassment she suffered in Alabama, which led to her moving to Detroit. (Please see the URL listed below)

But her troubles weren’t over. The article mentions the brutal attack by a thug in her home. Earlier this year, the Detroit News reported the settlement of Ms. Parks’ lawsuit against the rap group OutKast. Detroit News says that the group and its producers etc “will work with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development to develop educational programs "to enlighten today's youth about the significant role Rosa Parks played in making America a better place for all races."

But the OutKast settlement was more than just using her name in their rap/minstrel shows. The lyrics (copyrighted…thank you very much) can be found all over the web. I’m certainly not going to add THAT link on Afrigeneas.

OutKast, SONY BMG Music Entertainment, Arista Records LLC and LaFace Records should hang their heads in shame for linking Rosa Parks’ name to this.

Perhaps Ms. Parks forgave them. I never will.

K Wyer Lane

You can find her obituary, photos and remembrances from Long Islanders below:

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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