February 9, 2011

Hush Dat Fuss...Everybody Move to the Front of the Bus

Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in….When I declined to give up my seat, it was not that day or bus in particular. I just wanted to be free, like everybody else.” – Rosa Parks.
It was an unintentional protest. Around 6 p.m., Thursday, December 1, 1955, in downtown Montgomery, Rosa Parks paid her fare and sat in an empty seat reserved for blacks. As white-only seats in the bus filled up, the bus driver demanded that she gave her seat up. When Parks refused to give up her seat, a police officer arrested her. Two hours after her arrest, the long-time NAACP activist was released on $100 bail. By midnight, a plan had been hatched for a citywide bus boycott, to which a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King Jr. would later be elected to direct. The boycott lasted 381 days, until the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was illegal. 
On Dec. 21, 1956 — the day after the United States Supreme Court ruled Montgomery’s segregated bus system illegal – United Press International staged a photo-op of Mrs. Parks sitting in front of a white man on a different bus. UPI journalist Nicholas Chriss posed as the hard-eyed white man behind Parks. Similar photo opportunities were arranged for Martin Luther King Jr. and black leaders riding the newly integrated Cleveland Avenue bus, but the journalists and members of the civil rights community wanted an image that would dramatize what had occurred and asked reluctant Mrs. Parks to pose for the picture. Ironically, the picture UPI intended as showing the bus integration came to symbolize Park’s protest, which happened over a year before. (Other famous photos of Parks, a mug shot and a picture of her being fingerprinted, don’t date to Dec. 1, 1955, either. They were taken on Feb. 22, 1956, after about 100 black Montgomery residents were indicted on charges that they violated a local antiboycott statute.)
Interesting factoid: In 1994, the Ku Klux Klan applied to sponsor a portion of United States Interstate 55 in Saint Louis County and Jefferson County, near St. Louis, Missouri for clean up (which allowed them to have signs stating that this section of highway was maintained by the organization). Since the state could not refuse the KKK’s sponsorship, the Missouri legislature voted to name the highway section the "Rosa Parks Highway."  

Rosa Parks Remix
(too soon?)

Inspired by Rosa Parks
Not only would I keep the black opaque tights as in the picture, I would tuck in the tunic blouse. Which is even better because it will never come untucked! GAP camel coat is a steal at sale price 59.99, get it while it's hot/in stock/exists.

Cardigan: Button-up basics cardigan, Modcloth.com, 34.99
Blouse: In Plane View Tunic, Modcloth.com, 39.99
Coat: Wool blend funnel neck coat, camel, GAP.com, 59.99 (sale!)
Earrings: Lauren by Ralph Lauren Earrings, resin stone, Macys.com, 26
Flats: Fishnets, NineWest.com, 79
Skirt: StyleKelly Faux-Leather Trim Pencil Skirt, YesStyle.com, 58
Bag: Faux Leather Padlock Tote (white and brown), NYandCompany.com, 27.96
Necklace: Amber Necklace, CharlotteRusse.com, 12.50

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