09 November 2005

1.December 2005: "Rosa Parks Day"

This needs to become a National Holiday now!


New York City Now Has 'Rosa Parks Day'
By Benjamin Youngquest
Epoch Times New York Staff
Oct 30, 2005

NEW YORK—Rosa Parks, the black woman who would not give up her seat to a white man on that average day in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. That “spark” who unwittingly ignited the fire of change within the hearts of this nation’s segregated black community, who inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to not only dream the dream of racial equality, but to carry it as a peaceful message to the nation’s public—street by street.

Rosa Parks has passed, but thanks to the efforts of a group of New York City Council Members led by Charles Barron, she now has her own day. December 1 of every year shall now be known throughout New York City as “Rosa Parks Day.”

“When Rosa sat down, we stood up,” said Council Member Barron. Rosa Parks Day is being promoted as a “Day of Absence,” in which businesses are encouraged to allow their employees to take at least some of the day off to attend teach-ins and rallies throughout the city. The goal is to have a day when nothing is bought or sold, work stops, all normal activity comes to a halt—and people come together to discuss issues of human and civil rights, to learn from one another.

Larry Holmes, one of the organizers of the proposed “Day of Absence,” said, “We’re planning a day long teach-in on Wall Street ... we’ll have members of the King family as well as original participants in the Montgomery Boycott.”

In an act recognizing the leading role that women have played in civil rights movements around the world, the group of city officials and organizers gathered on the steps of City Hall last Thursday ceded the podium to the women supporters of Rosa Parks Day. “We are the embodiment of Rosa Parks, her brave act is why we are able to stand here at City Hall and speak strongly our cause,” said Council Member Yvette Clark. She went on to cite a long list of troubling statistics that paint a picture of New York as a city still deeply in the midst of racial inequality.

Whether or not the city actually shuts down for a day of commemoration on December 1, is an issue for further discussion and debate among council members, local officials, and civil rights organizers.

One thing, though, is now certain: in New York City, the name of Rosa Parks will not soon be forgotten.


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