Rosa Parks

For some of you, this will be old news.  But it goes so strongly against the two main Rosa Parks narratives that it seems worth posting.  The story I was first told was that Parks was simply tired and didn’t want to stand up, and she unwittingly sparked the bus boycotts.  Then I was told that it was all carefully planned and she was simply carrying out the orders of the movement.  These two stories have in common that they, in different ways, erase crucial elements of Parks’s agency.  She was in fact very politically sophisticated and a part of the movement already.  She wasn’t physically tired: “the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”  But her action was unplanned, and she had no idea that it would actually have the effects that it did (as she’d begun to be frustrated with the lack of action by others: “I simply did it because I thought nobody else would do anything” ).  For more, go here.