I Am Rosa Parks
Today I'm honored to participate in the I Am Justice blog tour, hosted by Penguin Random House, featuring the "ordinary people change the world series." Each book is a biography of a role model whose heroic actions benefitted the greater good. Author Brad Meltzer was inspired to write the non-fiction series stating "I was tired of my kids looking at reality TV stars, thinking of them as heroes."
Growing up, I know remember hearing a specific narrative in school about Rosa Parks. That she was weary and tired from a long day of work, after which, she refused to forfeit her seat to a white passenger. This narrative does not begin to encapsulate the life and legacy of Rosa Parks. Thankfully, books like Brad Meltzer's I Am Rosa Parks sets the record straight.
Rosa Parks was calm and level headed - even as a child when faced with confrontation. Rosa was keenly aware of the injustice around her. There were endless privileges whites were allowed that blacks were not. She never complained, but instead sought ways to make peaceful changes in her community. She stopped using "colored" water fountains, deciding she'd rather go thirsty than be treated so poorly. She avoided "colored" elevators, opting for the stairs. She began working at the NAACP to fight for fairer laws and ensure people's stories were heard. Rosa's arrest for refusing to forfeit her seat to a white man on the bus was not her first time. She had done this before, and there were other brave women who refused to give up their seats before her as well.
Rosa Parks was committed to justice, and her actions helped spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott, as well as launch the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks is a strong, heroic role model to stand up for yourself and what's right (even if it means sitting down!). Check out I Am Rosa Parks and read her story again with your kids.