04 Mar

Women’s History Month: Rosa Parks

March is Women’s History Month.

Rosa Parks by Ashley Nye

© 2015 Ashley Nye

This year will be 60 years since Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger while riding a bus in Alabama. She became an important symbol of the Civil Rights Movement.

Directly as a result of her arrest, a boycott was arranged, asking all black people to avoid using the buses in Montgomery.

“The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became.” – Rosa Parks

One of the interesting parts of this is the way in which the boycott was arranged. Jo Ann Robinson knew that something had to be done urgently, and mimeographed over 35,000 handbills in one night announcing a bus boycott. The Women’s Political Council distributed these thousands of leaflets, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott went ahead successfully.

Today, we have it much easier; access to quick, creative tools and the most fantastic distribution method imaginable. It will always take courage to speak out against injustice. But if Parks can stay sitting on that bus, facing what she faced. And if Robinson can arrange to spread the word without all the benefit of technology we have now, just think what is possible.

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