How little we know about the infringement of the rights of the black population in the US, how many abominations, cruelty, and disrespect colored people have suffered from white-skinned citizens. And this is one of the main reasons why we have to remember and honor those people who were not afraid to disobey, resist and oppose the power. So, what can we say about Rosa Parks, when is Rosa Parks Day celebrated in 2017 and what is it notable for? The 4th of February is momentous for the US since it’s a day of commemoration of Rosa Parks, an activist, supporting black people civil rights.
It all started with the bus… On the 1st of December, 1955, a black woman who worked as a seamstress, as usual, was leaving the workplace at the end of the working day and caught the bus. She, like all black people at the time, worked very hard, was very tired and just wanted to finally get home. But the laws of the time, segregating passengers by race, were severe: white people were the first to take seats, and black passengers sit down in transport only if there were empty places left over. However, when the driver of a crowded bus asked her to give place to white man, she could not bring herself to do it.
As she said lately: “ I sat on the bus without having any intention to be arrested. I boarded it to get home.» Still, she got arrested for her disobedience … It is not clear whether it was her provocation or the last straw of patience, but her act, the simple manifestation of protest, fully changed the future life of the American citizens.
This case became a push for a bus boycott, which lasted 381 days. Black people stopped using public transport, they rode bikes or walked, covering a lot of miles. As a result, the city faced the problem of losing money from bus fares. And finally, black people achieved justice: they were able to occupy any place in the buses. This event seized the discrimination and Jim Crow laws and gave birth to the great movement of the civil rights in the US. In 1956 racial discrimination in public transport was recognized as the deviation of the constitution. In the buses, all the places for black and white people were abolished, and the signs were removed.
And Rosa Parks became a symbol of the fight for equal rights. She was a devoted activist and really extraordinary personality, whose life and actions inspirited a lot of people. But the life of this brave woman was not easy: the members of her family suffered from serious diseases, and Rose, in spite of her fame, was not rich. Until her retirement, she worked as an administrative assistant in the office of Congressman John Conyers. Being a widow and an orphan, Mrs. Parks continued to protect the rights of citizens, she had established several funds and established a scholarship under her name. In spite of her health was getting worse, she would appear in public if she believed that it would help to raise funds. «Everyone should live so that others considered him a role model» — said Rose.
On the 15th of June, 1999, she was given the Congressional Gold Medal. This prize is considered to be the highest award given by the US legislative branch.
The date of Rosa Parks Day-2017 varies in some states. It is her birthday, the 4th of February when Missouri and California celebrate her day or the so-called Day of Courage. Oregon and Ohio celebrate this event on the 1st of December when Rosa was taken to prison.
Rosa Parks Day was firstly proclaimed in California. In Ohio, where this day was firstly set, it was supported by the lawyer Joyce Beatty. Also, this event is observed in the Columbus Ohio bus system, expressing special respect to the leader.
In Missouri, the holiday was officially adopted quite recently in 2014, by Governor Jay Nixon. It was a celebration of the 101st birthday of Rosa Parks. The same year Oregon government announced Rosa Parks Day be on the 1st of December.
Rosa Parks Day is an observance but not a usual public celebration in the USA.
Traditionally, on this day many activities take place. Representatives of power, church, and public organizations gather together to proclaim the speech and commemorate the memory of the great woman who fought for the rights of citizens and ceased the racial discrimination.
When is Rosa Parks Day in 2017? The calendar shows two dates: December, 1st, February, 4th, depending on the state. On thise day various activities allocated to the life and work of Rosa Parks against discrimination are carried out in schools. Teachers deliver overview lectures for pupils, citing her famous quotes and trying to encourage children to explain what it means. Students prepare the reports, dedicated to the life of this great woman. They draw her portraits and make exhibitions as well. This way children are made an excursus into the US history and moreover the learn how to develop their speaking skills and of course they are being taught to respect other people’s rights.
Speaking about the African-American communities: this day is their special occasion, since they are shining with proud for being the part of the so-called rebellious nation. In Detroit, some communities arrange demonstrations which are always followed by the laying of flowers at the Rosa Parks Memorial Highway.
The celebration of this event, precisely to say the commemoration of such a great activist and leader gives people all over the world the idea that we are able to change everything with which we disagree or reject. Living in the democratized society, we all have the same rights and we are equal under the law. And to be the part of society means not to obey the rules which were created by people who have power, it means to create the surrounding which pleasant and comfortable to live in. After all, what can we achieve by ourselves if we always lie dormant? So, perhaps, one day we will accidentally realize what we want to change in our life, like Rosa Parks, who refused to give place in the bus.
So on what day is Rosa Parks Day in 2017? Well, this day falls on Saturday. Interestingly enough, that this event is celebrated annually between Groundhog Day (Feb. 3) and Winter Beer Festival in Ohio (Feb.5-6).