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October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks, dead at 92

From the Washington Post...

Rosa Parks, the dignified African American seamstress whose refusal to surrender a bus seat to a white man launched the modern civil rights movement and inspired generations of activists, died last night at her home in Detroit, the Wayne County medical examiner's office said. She was 92.

No cause of death was reported immediately. She had dementia since 2002....

Parks said that she didn't fully realize what she was starting when she decided not to move on that Dec. 1, 1955, evening in Montgomery, Ala. It was a simple refusal, but her arrest and the resulting protests began the complex cultural struggle to legally guarantee equal rights to Americans of all races.

Within days, her arrest sparked a 380-day bus boycott, which led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that desegregated her city's public transportation. Her arrest also triggered mass demonstrations, made the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. famous, and transformed schools, workplaces and housing.

Hers was "an individual expression of a timeless longing for human dignity and freedom," King said in his book "Stride Toward Freedom."

Don't be mistaken. Rosa Parks was not a Black American hero—she was an American hero.

Posted by Danny Carlton at October 25, 2005 08:01 AM

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