Two stories about Ms. Parks (Black History 365)

We’ve all heard and learned the story of how Rosa Parks refusal to give her seat to a white person in 1955 due to her sitting in the front of a bus. This defiance led to what would become the Montgomery Bus Boycott. However, she was not the first woman who refused to give up her seat up for a white person during those segregated times, the first documented woman to do it was by the name of Claudette Colvin (9/6/1939 -) from Montgomery Alabama. There very well might have been more people who’ve even done it before Claudette Colvin, but as I said Claudette Colvin was the first documented black woman to not give up her seat and looked injustice in the face without retreating. However, she didn’t have the connections to the NAACP that Rosa Parks had and at that time the NAACP didn’t want her to be the focal point in spearheading a movement because she was still a teenager at 15, but this logic doesn’t make any sense. First, her age didn’t have to be a factor because as in my last post I wrote about in my Black History 365 series, a person like Ruby Bridges who was six years old would five years later make an impact on the eventual desegregation of schools in New Orleans and the rest of the nation. So, age doesn’t have to be an issue when starting a movement in my opinion because a young individual can and will most likely receive guidance and protection from an older individual who has recognition and power in a movement. Having said that, while Rosa Parks got all the praise and was the prominent figure beside MLK Jr during the bus boycott, Colvin’s name is rarely mentioned and that’s disappointing. Sometimes we know and use popular things and always circulate it’s great use to friends, family etc… but sometimes we come across hidden gems that are just as good as that popular one and sometimes even better. The reason for this analogy I’m making here is that Claudette Colvin is a hidden gem in the civil rights movement even if she didn’t have a major impact, she had an impact nonetheless. If you didn’t know of her existence or her story now you know. I’ll leave a link to a video at the end of this where she addresses her experience and the pursuit to make a difference and fight injustice and segregation in the south.

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On another note, this story about Rosa Parks deals with her battle with Hip Hop superstar group Outkast. Yes, you read that right. If you listen to and love Hip Hop music then you know Outkast as one of the greatest groups in Hip Hop history and arguably the south with classic albums and chart-topping hits. However, they did face controversy in 1998 during their release of their third album Aquemini due to one of their singles on the album by the name of “Rosa Parks” grabbing the attention of Rosa Parks who subsequently filed a lawsuit in March 1999 over defamation of character. I don’t want to get into the details about the lawsuit due it being long and it would make the post even longer explaining every step that was taken to the final verdict being a cash settlement that was agreed upon by both parties. Outkast took responsibility and aided the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development which created educational programs in honor of Rosa Parks. Outkast and Laface records which was the label the group was signed to felt there was no wrongdoing on their end. Even though the song’s title does have her name, the chorus to the song does not mention her name. However, the situation she went through as in her not giving up her seat is within the lyrics. In addition, the song’s subject matter didn’t involve anything about her so the battle she was fighting was understandable. Looking at the totality of the song it was a battle she saw worth fighting for and it ended up in with both parties getting what they wanted at the end. Leave a like and comment if you feel the need to and give my page a follow so you can stay up to date with my future posts. I know my output hasn’t been sufficient enough lately but I’m running another blog for work at the moment so I’m going to do my best to upload content at least twice a week here. Anyways, peace and keep it real.

Here is the chorus to “Rosa Parks” a 1998 hit from Outkast.

“Ah ha, hush that fuss
Everybody move to the back of the bus

Do you want to bump and slump with us
We the type of people make the club get crunk
Ah ha, hush that fuss
Everybody move to the back of the bus
Do you want to bump and slump with us
We the type of people make the club get crunk”

Image result for aquemini
Image result for rosa parks

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