Just as how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is considered the "father of the civil rights movement", Rosa Parks stands supreme as the "mother of the civil rights movement." Minorities and immigrants like us should sing the praises of these righteous icons who changed America, for most of us would not have come to Jim Crow America as it then existed. We could not use the same rest rooms, eat in the same restaurants, nor sit in the same buses and trains with white folks like we do now. Primitive, you would say, but that was what America was before heroes like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and others changed it. As we stand on their shoulders, let us not forget the legacy they left us, and build on the gains they bequeathed to all who come to the "Home of the Free, and the Land of the Brave" for a better life.

In Guyana, we speak of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, in South Africa, of Nelson Mandela, in India, of Mahatma Gandhi, and in America, we owe these heroes. One of the most important lives of the 20th century. Mrs. Parks was a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama when, in December of 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. The bus driver had her arrested. She was tried and convicted of violating a local ordinance.

Her act sparked a citywide boycott of the bus system by blacks that lasted more than a year. The boycott raised a then unknown clergyman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to national martyrdom, and resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court historic decision outlawing segregation on city buses. Over the next four decades, Rosa Parks helped make her fellow Americans aware of the history of the civil rights struggle. As a pioneer in the struggle for racial equality, she was the recipient of innumerable honors, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her example remains an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere.

Thank you, Rosa Parks, for the legacy you gave us.

Rosa Parks & Dr. King

Recognition given to Albert Baldeo for "taking a personal, public stand against hate, injustice and intolerance, and leading the way toward a more just America" from Rosa Parks.

  AlbertBaldeo.Com 2005