“Rosa Parks didn’t stand up because she was tired/her feet hurt” is one of the most outrageous lies we tell children in the guise of history and it is so harmful. It takes this brave, courageous and intentional act of civil disobedience and makes it passive and unwitting. Rosa Parks knew she would be arrested that day and she made a choice to do so. She was already heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement when it happened. She saw the opportunity and took it because she knew she could turn it into a moment that would change history. She wanted to change the law and she got arrested so she could do so. It was not an accident and telling Black children otherwise teaches them that history just happened to them instead of telling them about a woman who put her life on the line to change an unjust law. It sanitizes her, turning her into a little old lady (she was 42) who was just tired after a long day of work makes her more palatable to white people and that is a disservice to her memory and her movement.
When I asked you how you handle real criticism, you mentioned that you used to be a black lives matter activist and a feminist. What made you change your mind?