- As a child, Rosa took a lot of her inspiration and determination from another great lady of Alabama, Helen Keller, the deaf,dumb and blind girl who I talked about recently, who went on to conquer the world and show us anything is possible.
- James F. Blake was the bus driver who had Rosa arrested, yet this was not the first time she had run into him and it seems that history books tend to overlook their first encounter ten years before. Previously, he had insisted she get off the bus and use the back entrance and had been really nasty to her, leaving Rosa vowing never to get on his bus again. The day she refused to move from her seat, happened as an accident, when she absentmindedly got on Blake's bus again.
- Parks suffered from a lack of financial stability for most of her life and it wasn't until later years when her health was ailing, that she found life a little more luxurious.
- The return of the black soldiers after World War 2 brought a change in the respect the black people had for the white Americans. It was discovered that the Nazis were actually treated better than the soldiers of colour and were allowed to eat in local cafes, whereas the people of colour were sent around the back.
There are some memorable lines from the book which I feel I need to share with you too.
'The story of Montgomery is the story of 50,000 Negroes who were willing to substitute tired feet for tired souls and walk the streets of Montgomery until the walls of segregation were finally battered by the forces of justice.' This was a line taken from Martin Luther King's book Strive Toward Freedom.
'Martin Luther King,JR., didn't start the American civil rights movement, but early on his brilliance made him its polestar, and when that guiding light was blotted out in April 1968, those who had looked to it seemed to lose their way in the darkness his death left behind. '
This book not only gives you the life story of Rosa Parks, but it also gives you the historical background and the people involved with the American Civil Rights movement. I had alway presumed that Martin Luther King was the front runner in this race, yet he came into the campaign as an after thought and there were many other fine people who led the way before him.
Rosa Parks was an inspirational woman, yet she came across to everyone who knew her as humble and down to earth. She never revelled in the fame her actions brought her, yet as time passed a lot of people involved in the civil rights movement, began to shun her out of jealousy of her fame. From that point on, she moved away as she could not cope with such ill feeling. She was cast aside for many years and her story was often not included in the accounts of the birth of the American Civil Rights, yet over the past twenty odd years, her story has begun to shine through and she has taken her place next to the other inspirational women of the twentieth century.
Nelson Mandela's visit to America following his release from prison after twenty seven years says it all. Rosa had been missed off the guest list to meet him, yet after pulling a few strings she got the opportunity to be there. When he arrived, Nelson started to chant Rosa's name, tears filling his eyes as he finally met the legend that was Rosa Parks.
I would highly recommend reading this book as it definitely opened my eyes to the history of the American Civil Rights movement. I feel so much better for reading this book, as I realise that in our lifetime there will always be difficulties, there will always be difficulties to overcome, yet with a little bit of faith and a whole lot of positivity, we can achieve the unachievable. Life is there for us to take and grab with both hands and bring about the things our hearts most truly desire.