Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Yesterday was the birthday of civil rights hero Rosa Parks. She died in 2005, but if she were still alive, she would have celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday. In honor of the occasion, the United States Post Office issued a Rosa Parks stamp (see above). She deserves this honor. Although remembered as the person who started the bus boycott (which made Dr. King famous on a national stage) by sitting in a white section and refusing to move, she did much more. She was an active part of the civil rights movement, both before and after the bus incident.

Although I do consider Ms. Parks to be an American hero for the part she played in the civil rights movement, we need to remember that she was only one of many thousands who participated in that momentous battle. Many people put their freedom, their health, and their very lives at risk. And it is fitting that we remember their courage and sacrifice now -- during Black History month.

There were people of all races and colors that participated, and in my estimation they are all heroes. But we shouldn't forget that the huge majority of those who stood up for equal rights during that tumultuous time were African-Americans, and they were the ones who bore the brunt of the white racist backlash. We owe them a huge debt. They didn't just get equal rights for African-Americans. They made this a better country in a profound way, and we benefit from that today. It is right that we celebrate Black History Month, and that we remember and celebrate those who gave of themselves to make America better.

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