Thursday, November 03, 2005

A legacy

The funeral of Rosa Parks was a truly remarkable event. A white hearse is currently moving to the cemetery after a 6 hour funeral where there were more than 30 eulogies and much preaching, praise and singing.

It was a great event to honour an amazing woman. However what struck me most are the interviews I watched online with the general public in Detroit who placed the importance of Rosa Parks in context. Young people talked about their opportunities of housing and education and their rights. Older women talked about how they had to attend separate restaurants and drinking fountains. Some also mentioned the fact that they and others take equality for granted and her death and reminders of her legacy have made them realise that they should continue to strive for rights and equality.  And more still reflected an anger that discrimination continues in many ways in US society. Detroit, where Parks fled to following harassment in Alabama, is seen as the most racially divided city in the US.

It was a bit like a Democratic National Convention in terms of who was there – including Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton (both potential presidential candidates of the future?) and many others paid tribute.


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