RIP: Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was 42 years old when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man who demanded it 50 years ago. Her act of defiance got her arrested—and galvanized a civil rights movement, inspiring legions of people to speak up and demand change. She was a hero to lots of people, and I count myself among them. When Skippy recently asked for a list of the most important Americans, she was on my list. When Toast recently asked with which 5 living people we’d like to have a beer, she was on my list. I can remember hearing the story of Rosa Parks and her act of civil disobedience for the first time, when I was a little girl, and how I thought, “That’s the kind of person I want to be.”

Her eyes tell her story.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called her the "mother of the civil rights movement,” and by the end of her life, she had received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom (in 1996) and the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor (in 1999) for her outstanding contributions in making America a better place for us all.

Every reason to smile:
A genuine American hero.

Her work isn’t done, and we must carry on what she started in her mold—one person, deciding to take a stand against injustice, and making a difference.

"I am leaving this legacy to all of you ... to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die — the dream of freedom and peace."

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