February 4

Birthday of Rosa Parks
Reflection

By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955 Rosa Parks helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. Led by a young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the leaders of the local black community organized a bus boycott that began the day Parks was convicted of violating the segregation laws. It ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Rosa Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end racial segregation. She was able to move beyond her fears and put herself on the line for human dignity and basic civil rights.  “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired,” Rosa Parks wrote in her autobiography, “but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” In 1999, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the United States bestows on a civilian. When she died at age 92 on October 24, 2005, she became the first woman in the nation’s history to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. Rosa Parks is remembered as the woman who sparked a movement by her courage.

Prayer

God is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

Action

In the daily events of your life are there injustices which you can take a position against? What will it cost you?

Suggested Reading

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for God, goes with you; God will not fail you, nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.
Rosa Parks

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Rosa Parks

Each person must live their life as a model for others.
Rosa Parks

At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.
Rosa Parks

Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.
Rosa Parks

Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.
Rosa Parks

I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.
Rosa Parks

Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.
Rosa Parks

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