rosa montgomery

6

In anticipation of Rosa Park’s birthday on February 4, we found this copy of Freedom Walkers: The Story of Montgomery Bus Boycott (signed by author and historian Russel Freedman). Don’t let the fact that this book was written for young adults fool you into thinking that it isn’t absolutely packed with valuable history. Pictured above are a childhood photo of Claudette Colvin, the 16-year-old who sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to give up the seat that was legally hers for white passengers; pedestrians boycotting the bus system; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta King after he was found guilty for leading an “illegal” boycott; and Rosa Parks riding in a newly integrated bus.

Freedman, R. (2006). Freedom walkers: The story of the Montgomery bus boycott. New York: Holiday House.

From the Hipple Young Adult Collection, University of South Florida Libraries

2

December 1st 1955: Rosa Parks on the bus

On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old black seamstress from Alabama, refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man. A member of the NAACP, Parks was returning home from a long day at work when the bus driver ordered her to give up her seat on the full bus for a white man. No stranger to civil rights activism, she was subsequently arrested for civil disobedience in defying the state’s Jim Crow racial segregation laws. Through this act of defiance, Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, during which time African-Americans - under the leadership of a young, charismatic reverend called Martin Luther King Jr. - refused to use the city buses, arguing that they should be integrated per the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. The boycott was successful in forcing Montgomery to end its discriminatory segregation laws, and marked the beginning of the main phase of what is now known as the Civil Rights Movement. From Montgomery, African-Americans across the United States went on to lead sit-ins, freedom rides, and political marches, in an attempt to bring an end to segregation laws which had oppressed their community for so long. These activists were all indebted to Rosa Parks - known as the ‘mother of the Civil Rights Movement’ - for her simple act of defiance, firmly asserting her humanity and her rights as an American citizen. As the movement grew, Parks remained an influential symbol and leader of the movement, which ultimately brought an end to legal segregation and forced Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights and 1965 Voting Rights Acts. As for Parks herself, the affair of her arrest and the subsequent boycott caused her to lose her job and made her a victim of harassment and threats. She moved to Detriot and in 1965 began to work in the office of Congressman John Conyers. In 1999, Rosa Parks was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her role in transforming American race relations, and upon her death in 2005 she lay in state at the U.S. Capitol. Today, 60 years on, we remember Rosa Parks’s personal bravery, the successes of the movement she inspired, and the steps yet to be taken as the struggle against systemic racism continues.

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day…No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in”

60 years ago today

Guys.

I’ll recommend a show to you right now.

I know everyone here is feeling a little empty and can’t really think what to do once Pretty Little Liars ends, but I’ll tell you what: go watch Brooklyn Nine Nine. 

It is a comedy show, so it won’t be like replacing PLL or something, but I know how hard it is to see something you love ending and having something you like to be a kind of consolation is great. And I’ll tell you why you should watch B99:

-Jake Peralta, the protagonist, is portraied by the comedian Andy Samberg. He is a ray of sunshine. He’s sweet, humble, loving, attentive and of course, funny. He is a white-straight-cis-man? Yes, he is. But Jake (and Andy, but I’m talking about the show’s story here) is so much more than that. He isn’t like one of those stereotyped comedy characters. He is a feminist (or a sympathic to the cause, you decide), he grew up clearly on the three existing seasons. He is a man-kid, but at the same time he express his feelings, he respects everyone, he doesn’t make any jokes about minorities and he respect all the people around him. 

-Captain Holt is portraied by Andre Braugher. He is a black, openly gay Captain, who suffered with prejudice his whole career. He finally made Captain of a Precinct, and is ready to be the mentor they all need. At first he seems just like a pain in the ass, but he grow better, showing off his feelings and his fun side along the way. He isn’t like any other black gay character I’ve seen lately, like Tituss (I love him, but it is so stereotyped). His relationship with his husband, Kevin Cozner, is a relationship everyone at the precinct respects and admire.

-Amy Santiago is portraied by Melissa Fumero. She’s a latina woman, but she isn’t like any stereotype of a latina. She’s the most competent detective of the Nine Ninth Precinct, and she is competitive, hard working, but they don’t make her the woman-who-only-works-and-have-no-friends-and-love-life. I won’t spoil anything to you guys, but she have a love life and the whole precinct is friends with her, and they care genuinely about her. She learns through the seasons to embrace her quirks, and she only grows more confident with herself (if you watch it, when you get to 3x05 you’ll definetly get what I’m talking about). She kicks some asses, too.

-Terry Jeffords is portraied by Terry Crews. I’m sure everyone here know Crews, and how easy would be to them make him the strong-black-guy-who’s-too-temperamental-and-has-no-feelings? He is the total opposite of it: He has a beautiful wife, and stopped going on the field because he got scared of getting hurt when his two babies arrived at the world (Cagney and Lacey). He is super sensitive, likes to draw, makes origami, loves yogurt, but he loves working out too. He is the father of the detectives and everyone looks up to his relationship with Sharon Jeffords too.

-Rosa Diaz is portraied by Stephanie Beatriz. Another latina woman, with totally different features of Amy’s. Rosa is a tough woman. She kicks some asses (Amy does too), and she has trouble showing off her feelings. But while she is totally in power of herself, she has all of her friends backs. She loves people in her own way, but she stick to them, no matter what. She opens her heart sometimes, and you can see different layers of her when the time passes. She is made of stone and is very vulnerable at the same time. You can explore her relationship with each one of the squad and is a great experience.

-Gina Linetti is portraied by Chelsea Peretti. She is the most comic character: she loves the attention, and loves saying what she wants to say. But she loves every character and she takes care of everyone when the time comes. You see right at the beggining that she has this huge crush on Terry, but something happens one day and she has to help Terry’s wife, and guess what? She doesn’t? Of course not! If this was another show, maybe, but she actually helps her in all the ways she can, and she actually do a lot. She looks like someone who doesn’t care about anybody, but she loves everyone and when the time passes she learns how to show it.

-Charles Boyle is portraied by Joe Lo Truglio. He is the loving one. He loves everyone at the precinct, and he shows it off. At a point of the show, he is very much in love with someone, but one day he says he’s sorry, because he know he was a bad company to this person, because he was a little too drown on his own feelings. He being a bad company was a bad thing? Yes, it was. But he realized and talked to the person, like adults, and the person forgave him. He is loving and sweet, but he kicks some asses when he needs to. And he embraces himself, he doesn’t feel ashamed for being in touch with his feelings, and no one of the squad makes him feel bad for being who he is.

*All the girls in the show have their own storylines, none of them is resumed just to the male character. They all pass the Bechdel Test.

*When a character confess that it’s in love with another one (not using names to avoid spoiling, again), it isn’t expecting to receive nothing back: it just says so the other know and they are in the clear. You never feel that it is requiring to have it’s feelings returned. It is such a rare thing to see.

*All the sexist and homophobic characters on the show are treated with zero tolerance. They always are repressed and end up paying for what they said/did.

*All the relationships are explored at some point, and is delightful to watch all characters bonding on their own special way.

*Their jokes are funny because they can make humour, not because they make fun of someone who can’t defend themselves.

So, what I’m trying to say is: this is one of the most nonproblematics shows of the world. And it really deserves a shot! So, if you see it, come here or at @are-you-kidding-youre-orangina and talk to me and say what were your thoughts! And if you like it, spread this show around. It is a great one and I hope you guys like it as much as I do!

4

MARTIN LUTHER KING and the MONTGOMERY STORY

Nearly sixty years after its creation, a little-known landmark of comic book history returns! This 16-page comic is a simple but revolutionary account of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which Rosa Parks, Dr. King, and 50,000 others used the power of nonviolence to battle segregation on city buses – and win.

First published in December 1957 by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, it went unnoticed by the mainstream comic book industry but spread like wildfire among civil rights groups, churches, and schools, helping to mobilize a generation to join the global fight for equality – nonviolently.

Personally endorsed by Martin Luther King, Jr. himself, over time this comic book has reached beyond his time and place to inspire activists in Latin America, South Africa, Vietnam, Egypt, and beyond… as well as inspiring MARCH, the new graphic novel trilogy by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.

This new fully-authorized digital edition is published by the Fellowship of Reconciliation in partnership with Top Shelf Productions. All proceeds go to F.O.R.’s work promoting nonviolence around the world.

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, an educational comic book published by the Fellowship for Reconciliation, December 1957. Written by Alfred Hassler and Benton Resnik. Artist unknown, though it was apparently drawn by someone from Al Capp’s studio. Note that this cover was signed by both King and his wife. 

2

“IF ROSA PARKS HAD TAKEN A POLL before she sat down in the bus in Montgomery, SHE’D STILL BE STANDING."  - Marion Barry

… what Marion Barry said after his miraculous win. 

Maya Angelou said it best: "Marion Barry changed America with his unmitigated gall to stand up in the ashes of where he had fallen and come back to win.”

NOTE TO SELF: When life knocks you down … YOU have the ability to rise from the ashes and prove EVERYONE wrong! Now, that is success.

R.I.P. Marion Barry …