“The mother of the civil rights movement”
They write about me as if I were a passive part of this. They write about me as if I were not angry. They write about me as a mother: nurturer, care taker, soft, and sweet. They write about me as if I were tired. As if I were accidentally seated, as if my actions were not premeditated. As if my actions were ignorantly innocent of malcontent.
They write about me as if I were the first to resist. As if I were NOT an active member of the NAACP Detroit chapter. As if my brothers and sisters had not been standing up but staying seated for weeks prior. As if I came up with this idea alone, without the politics and strategies of an organization. As if I were not actively executing the plan of all the infuriated black men and women in Detroit.
They write about me as if I were not infuriated. They write about my actions as if I were not enraged, but merely tired and old. I WAS NOT OLD. I WAS NOT TIRED.
I was tired of giving in.
- My Story, Rosa Parks, 1999