Rosa Parks is one of the most celebrated African-American human rights activists of twentieth century, who bravely fought in the face of hardships for the noble cause of winning equal status for her African American community. She underwent trials and penalties, but stood as firm as rock to play her role with great honesty for the elimination of racial segregation from the public places, education and health institutions, transportations and others from the American culture. Her famous book under the title “Rosa Parks: My Story” is a unique impression of the presence of social disparity and injustice in the US culture, where the minority communities were the victims of the hatred of the whites on the basis of their race and ethnicity, which had subsequently created ethnic conflict in the American society. The US society of Parks’ youth times observed racial discrimination, which was predominantly evident in all public sectors, where all minority groups endured discriminatory behavior due to the hatred of the White Anglo Saxon Population (WASP). The book highlights the very fact that black community had to experience the severe abhorrence from the white majority all over the country. As a reaction, the blacks used to protest against the biased demeanor from the white majority time and again, yet it did not win as much applause, which took place after the courageous defiance and non-compliance of Parks while boarding a bus. It gave a go to the commencement of the decisive movement against racial discrimination in the USA. It is therefore it is aptly regarded that it was the Parks’ defiance that caused the elimination of racial description, and the end of ethnic intolerance started taking place by dint of the one single great step of this valiant African Americans lady, which resulted in the acquisition of equal rights for all Americans without any racial, ethnic and gender discrimination.
It is a reality beyond suspicion that in the life of nations, such moments come when one single event appears as the decisive one for changing the history, fate and patterns of the whole nation. One remarkable moment turns out to be more influential one than the suppression and oppression of many centuries even; almost same is applied with the African American community, which found a ray of hope in the act of non-compliance displayed by Rosa Parks, who refused to surrender before the prejudiced behavior of the white bus driver. The bus driver had ordered Parks and three other black passengers regarding relinquishing their seats in the bus in favor of the white passengers on which Parks and three other African Americans were sitting on December1, 1955. Parks resisted against the unethical instructions of the driver and refused to move from her seat altogether. It seriously infuriated the white majority and caused Parks’ subsequent arrest and court trials. The entire humiliation of the African American lady and her dauntless standing for seeking equal rights led to the unity of the whole community, which rose to the occasion to support her noble cause of eradicating social injustice from the society. But Parks’ act could not be viewed as the only performance that brought revolutionary changes in American culture. Rather, it was the result of many centuries long prejudice on the part of the whites against the blacks, which turned out as the vital event for winning equal human rights and social status for the blacks. Hence, the whole black community got an opportunity of striving against the cruelties exercised upon them by the white population for the last centuries.
My resistance against leaving the seat, Parks submits, was neither due to my physical tiredness, nor it was an outcome of my age factor; rather, the whole incident was the reaction of the humiliating attitude of the whites, who considered the blacks as the inferior stratum of society. (1992) Hence, her act was an expression of the remarkable refusal of the discrimination against her community, and she looked for gaining a respectable place of her community in the social establishment. The whole black nation, which had been being suppressed under the chariot wheels of ruthlessness on the part of the whites, took Parks’ act as the voice of the community’s feelings and emotions. It was the time when the freedom movements had witnessed successes and triumphs all over the globe. The second wave of the feminist movement, launched by Betty Friedan, was also at its full swing, and gays and lesbians were also demanding their rights. The poets and writers, belonging to African American community, were producing verses and prose in support of getting the privileges on equal foundations as these have been denoted to the white Americans. Their literature was looking for the identical rights for all communal groups, rather demanding separate and distinguished rights or additional civil liberties for one single community. The writings were revealing the atrocities committed by the tyrant European nations on the forefathers of the contemporary African Americans. It is therefore, the whole community gathered on one platform for raising their voice for equality and freedom from tyranny and cruelty.
The bus boycott, in reaction to the Parks’ arrest, lasted for over one year, putting the transport business in grave jeopardy. The literature produced by the African American writers and poets, gave birth to the famous Harlem Renaissance Movement. The motive behind these writers was not mere expressing of their grief; rather, the aims of such writing material appeared as receiving additional gains out of the so called miseries their previous generations suffered for decades. During nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the White Anglo Saxon Population (WASP) was reluctant to accept the equal status for Blacks at all. The writers played the most significant role in this regards. Great writers like Malcolm X, Margaret Drabble, Toni Morrison and others performed their ethical obligations in this regard.
Her book wide opens new horizons of information regarding the social norms, mores, values and traditions existing in the US culture during 18th, 19th and first seven decades of 20th century, where the Blacks were looked down upon everywhere and they were bound to leave their seats for the whites while travelling in the local buses and transports. The level of hatred in the minds of the white Americans against the African Americans was really surprising one for a country pretended to be the torchbearer of human rights, maintained such humiliating and nefarious cultural traits in it, which served as black mark on the very face of the USA. Anyway, many things like social stratification and class conflict, described by the author with reference to the American society, is not very much surprising.
Parks, Rosa. (1992) My Story