#1: Unknown photographer, AP Photo, Dec. 21, 1956, Rosa Parks riding on the Montgomery Area Transit System (staged photo)

Image description / Photo #1:
This picture was set up to commemorate the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ first arrest in Dec. 1955. It shows her seated in a bus that is empty except for a lone white passenger, who was UPI reporter Nicholas C. Chriss, based in Atlanta, Georgia. (+, +, +, +)

#2: probably by Gene HerrickBettman/CORBIS, Feb. 22, 1956, Second arrest, Montgomery

Image description / Photo #2:
Rosa Parks being fingerprinted after being arrested for the second time. This photo was not staged; photographers were alerted beforehand. (+)


Here is Barack Obama’s statement on the 55th anniversary of Montgomery Bus Boycott (Dec. 2010):

"Fifty-five years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus – an act that challenged the moral conscience of an entire nation. The Montgomery Bus Boycott marked a turning point in American history – the moment where we began the march toward the Civil Rights Movement and the eventual outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination.

Rosa Parks and the many other leaders and foot soldiers in that struggle for justice championed our founding principles of freedom and equality for all, and today, as we commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I encourage all Americans to honor their legacy – the legacy of Americans who marched bravely, worked tirelessly, and devoted their lives to the never-ending task of making our country a more perfect union.” (+)

This post
tells a whole different story about Rosa Parks - here’s a small excerpt:

"All the jabber about a humble seamstress is just an exercise in political cosmetology. Imbuing Rosa Parks with an aura of sainthood served the NAACP’s political ends perfectly; they tailored her story to suggest that the Montgomery bus boycott was a spontaneous expression of the Negro spirit. Rosa Parks played along. This is how Rosa Parks allowed herself to become immortalized and imprisoned by The Myth of Rosa Parks." (Thomas Clough, “Weird Republic”, Dec. 11, 2005; read the whole post)

Ok, I’ve read posts of similar “quality” by Holocaust deniers misquoting sources to support their own questionable theories.

All I want to say is: No matter if above photo is staged or not, or what the whole back story is - if people like Mr. Clough would use their time & energy to learn about history in the United States of America or elsewhere (from reliable sources) they would stop denigrating people who have been treated like animals for decades and decades and start respecting all people, regardless of their ethnicity or skin color.

In German we have a word for such people: "Ewiggestrige".

Many thanks to Adrienne and Caille for helping me with this post! Please check out their wonderful blogs!

Here’s a part of the message Adrienne (aka auntada) sent me:

"…understanding the backstory is critical to gaining a true insight into how sophisticated and intricately planned the civil rights movement was, in general. Strategic planning was absolutely essential in dismantling the South’s institutionalized systems of segregation and oppression."

Let me end this post with an excerpt of the NYT article that Thomas Clough also has quoted - a part that didn’t really support “his side of the story” I guess”:

"…rather than a simple seamstress who dared to ‘think different,’ Mrs. Parks was a longtime N.A.A.C.P. activist who went to the famous Highlander Folk School to learn about social change and lunched regularly with Mr. Gray, the civil rights lawyer.

None of that diminishes the achievement or her life, just as, perhaps, the true story of the picture need not detract from its power. It’s just a reminder that history is almost always more complicated and surprising than the images that most effectively tell its story.” (Peter Applebome, New York Times, Dec. 7, 2005)

May your soul rest in peace Ms. Parks.

» find more photos of Rosa Parks here «

heytoyourmamanem asked:

Great job on your tag list! Seems like an incredibly time-consuming task.

Thanks! Haha, well it took me about 45 mins to compile that list but going through the rest of my posts is a continuous and definitely time-consuming process so it’ll take a while before it’s done. Then again, I’m known to give up rather easily on things so it may never be fully accomplished, lol.

Thanks again!

Education in America

I’ve just begun work on a strategy project concerning the future of post-secondary education in America. Here’s the key question: how does one use online technology to radically expand access to *quality* education? Despite federal efforts, we’ve failed to provide access to quality education to historically neglected groups: African-Americans, Hispanics, anyone without wealth.

auntada’s excellent, quiet blog — — insists on the presence of people of color in the photo archive — and perusing her work I couldn’t help but think of Francis Benjamin Johnston’s Hampton Album of 1900 and Carrie Mae Weems’ return to it in 2000 -

The Hampton Institute was founded after the Civil War to provide newly freed slaves and Native Americans with industrial vocational training. Johnston’s photographs were intended to build further support for this kind of education. They were exhibited in the 1900 Paris Exposition. 

Any honest discussion of education is still riven by race, history, notions of vocational training and career viability, and the question of the middle class.  

More American themes.

Stairway of the Treasurer’s Residence: Students at Work from the Hampton Album (

© Brian Lanker, 1989, Portrait of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, the late legendary civil rights activist, is receiving a special honor this year to commemorate what would have been her 100th birthday.

The Henry Ford museum celebrates Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday as a National Day of Courage on monday, Feb. 4. The day-long celebration taking place inside Henry Ford Museum will "feature nationally-recognized speakers, live music, and dramatic presentations:"

Current scheduled speakers include American social activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement Julian Bond, contributing Newsweek editor Eleanor Clift, Rosa Parks biographers Jeanne Theoharis and Douglas Brinkley and Wayne State University Assistant Professor Danielle McGuire. (+)

The U.S. postal service will be unveiling a stamp that features her image. The stamp honoring Rosa Parks is one of three stamps in the civil rights set celebrating freedom, courage, and equality being issued in 2013. Issue Date: February 4, 2013. (+)

And I will publish a special story on Ms. Parks tomorrow - stay tuned.
(thanks to Adrienne and Caille for the support!)

» find more photos of Rosa Parks here «

auntada replied to your photo: djgagnon: #university #ushistory #women Colleges…

Interesting. At the time, Southern (white) women’s colleges tended to be smaller and focused enhancing young ladies’ marriageability. Could be why there were more of them.

White women did get an education while at colleges. It heavily emphasized language arts (reading, writing, etc) and religion. They tended not to emphasize science but women would get a basic knowledge in math. There were universities that would educate women in all sorts of fields not just language arts but it depended on the school. Some of the universities on the list are still around today. 

During the Civil War, women whose parents could afford it would go to these colleges because it was seen as safer than being at home.