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Published from Chicago, by Dr. Gaston Saint Martin (  –  

She was a color, racial discriminated female, seamstress, humble, living in Montgomery, Alabama. She was a shy lady, who choose to remain seated, so everybody can stand up for our rights.  –   Shall we -(more educated professionals with our modern, powerful technical and academic organizations)- almost 60 years later, have  her internal strength and determination to stand up  for every one healthcare rights? –   The Supreme Court Ruling on Obama Care laws, on June 28, 2012; is just the beginning!

We have rights, but anything is “free” we have to go to court to fight for every one of them!

1955: Black woman challenges race law 

Mrs. Rosa Parks, refusal to give up her seat to a white man on the bus, provoke a boycott () in 1955, She died in 2005, 50 years after her famous boycott began. ([A])

A black woman has been arrested by police in Montgomery, Alabama, after refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white person.

Mrs. Rosa Parks now faces a fine for breaking the segregation laws which say black Americans must vacate their seats if there are white passengers left standing.

It is not the first time Mrs. Parks, who is a seamstress, has defied the law on segregation.

In 1943 she was thrown off a bus for refusing to get on via the back door, which was reserved for black passengers. She became known to other drivers who sometimes refused to let her on.

Today Mrs. Parks left Montgomery Fair, the department store where she was employed doing repairs on men’s clothing, as usual.

She said she was tired after work and suffered aches and pains in her shoulders, back and neck.

When she got on the bus she realized the driver was the same man, James Blake, who had thrown her off twelve years before.

As more white people got on and the seats filled up, he asked her to give up her seat and she refused.

He threatened to call the police and she told him to go ahead.

She was subsequently arrested and charged with violating segregation law.

She will now appear in court on Monday 5 December.

Mrs. Parks is a youth leader of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and her husband, Raymond, a barber, has taken part in voter registration drives.

Segregation laws

Between them the couple have worked for many years to improve the lot of black Americans in the southern United States where rigid segregation laws have been in force since the end of the Civil War in 1865.

Last year a group of professional black woman in Montgomery, the Women’s Political Council, protested to the mayor about segregation on the buses, warning him they were planning a boycott.

The NAACP has also tried to challenge the laws on segregation in the courts and Mrs Parks has been involved in raising money to defend a 15-year-old student, Claudette Colvin, who was removed from a bus in March of this year for refusing to give up her seat to a white man.

Five days later, thousands of black citizens boycotted the buses in Alabama – to mark the day Mrs Parks was due in court. She was fined $10 (the equivalent of about $70 in 2003), plus $4 costs.

She challenged the verdict and the NAACP decided to use her case as a test against city and state segregation laws.

Later that same evening, the young preacher Martin Luther King addressed a crowd of several thousand at Holt Street Baptist Church and called for the boycott to continue.

Nearly all Montgomery’s 40,000 black citizens took part in the bus boycott, which lasted for 381 days.

On 20 December the Supreme court upheld the decision of a lower court to end segregation on Alabama’s buses.

Mrs. Parks was sacked from her job and in 1957 left Montgomery for Detroit following harassment. She later became a special assistant to Democratic congressman John Conyers until her retirement in 1988

She died in October 2005 – an icon for the civil rights movement – almost exactly 50 years after her famous bus boycott began.

US civil rights icon Parks dies 

Rosa Parks, the black woman whose 1955 protest action in Alabama marked the start of the modern US civil rights movement, has died at the age of 92.

Mrs. Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus prompted a mass black boycott of buses, organized by Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr.

His protest movement brought about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in the US.

Mrs. Parks’ lawyer said she died in her sleep at her home in Detroit, Michigan.

It was revealed last year that she was suffering from progressive dementia.

She sat down in order that we all might stand up – and the walls of segregation came down,” civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said.

He said her legacy would never die, and added: “In many ways, history is marked as before, and after, Rosa Parks He said her legacy would never die, and added: “In many ways, history is marked as before, and after, Rosa Parks.

The nation lost a courageous woman and a true American hero,” Massachusetts Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy said. “Her quiet fight for equality sounded the bells of freedom for millions,” he said.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said: “She’s an example for all people. For one, I would not be standing here but for her sitting down and standing up at the same time.”

I had a right

Mrs. Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress when she made history.

On 1 December 1955, Mrs. Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama to a white man, defying the law. She was arrested and fined $14.

For years before her arrest, Mrs. Parks had been active with local civil rights groups, which were looking for a test case to fight the city’s segregation laws.

Speaking in 1992, Mrs. Parks said of her famous bus protest: “The real reason of my not standing up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passenger. We had endured that kind of treatment for too long.”

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor, three years later.

Democratic Congressman John Conyers, from whom she worked in Detroit from 1965 until she retired in 1988, described her as “an almost saint-like person”. – She was very humble, she was soft-spoken, but inside she had a determination that was quite fierce.”


One person can change the world: A changing display

We have reserved a space on a pillar in the north aisle of church for a photograph or icon of an inspiring person of recent years. A candle will burn beneath the image at appropriate times. Members of the congregation will choose who shall be commemorated in this way.

The first choice has received great welcome in Church, and has led to much conversation and discussion. She is Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005). Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1955 as an unknown black seamstress she sat down on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, on her journey home. She refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger. This led to her prosecution and a city-wide bus boycott by black citizens which lasted 381 days. She was found guilty amd fined and was dismissed from her work.

Her action changed the course of civil rights in the USA. She became a great campaigner for peace and justice, and received many honours.

Rosa Parks was a role model of courage in the face of injustice. She was a grass roots activist from a humble background. Her example inspires us to be prepared to sacrifice for the sake of our beliefs.

We will change the display every two months or so. You are welcome to nominate someone. We ask that the person not be a living person, and that they be Christian or at least encouraging or supportive of Christian faith. (Thus, for example, if he were no longer living the Dalai Lama would qualify). We will give priority to grassroots ‘saints’.

[A]boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons. It can be a form of consumer activism.



  1. Thank you for this informative blog. Our church has niominated Mrs Parks in our class of ‘One person who changed the world’

    • THANYOU FOR YOUR COMMENT!. I am surprised HOW(?) do you read my modest “opinion” blog! – I try to find out where are your Church is located, and what kind of Church you are. I believe You are in The UK. And are a Christian Catholic (none roman? But eastern? Church)
      I am an Argentine MD living in Chicago.
      I also search about St Chrysostom’s history to find out he is a “Saint” for both Catholics (Roman and Byzantine Churches) He criticize the “Abuse of Power by Authority ) That is another coincidence! – Have you read the legend under the Title of my Blog? (“I love my Country [“PATRIA” in Spanish] What I am afraid off y my Government”.
      Please to answer me, use my e-mail – (I may have a proposition for you to consider as a dead person who change the world….
      Kind Regards
      Dr. Gaston Saint Martin MD

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