This created a riot and then more people stood up for Rosa Parks....

What stops us from acting on issues we care about? Have there been issues, small or large, where you've wanted to take a stand, but didn't? Why do you think you didn't?

If there were issues where you have taken a stand, what got you involved? How did the experience change you?

Do you feel like ordinary citizens really can make a difference? Or do you hold back from acting because you think your efforts are futile?

Were you surprised to see a portrait of Desmond Tutu as so down-to-earth? Do you think of global heroes as saintly and detached? Do you agree that "only someone who knows how good life can be is in a position to appreciate what's at stake when life is degraded or destroyed"?

Are you hopeful in your personal life, for your own individual future? Do you have more or less hope in terms of this country's future, or the future of the world?

Were you surprised to know that some of the Eastern European revolutions started with the defense of a rock band? Any lessons from this?

Did you know the real Rosa Parks story, or did you only know the myth? How does it change your view to know Parks didn't act alone? Does it change your image of how people become activists?

Raymond Parks married Rosa McCauley December 18, 1932.

Rosa Parks was one of the people that change America to what it is today.

An idea struck us and we started talking about Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks was one of the first women in Montgomery to join the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and had served as its secretary for years. She had learned about union struggles, had worked to desegregate the local schools and had defied the bus segregation laws in the past.

Rosa Parks was one of these many people.

There had been numerous instances of Blacks refusing to obey the segregation laws on public transportation throughout the 1940s. The Women’s Political Council (WPC) was formed in 1949, after Jo Ann Gibson was made to leave an almost empty bus for refusing to move to the back . By 1955, the WPC had members in every school, and in federal, state and local jobs, and according to Gibson, its President, “we knew that in a matter of hours, we could corral the whole city”. The WPC had met with the mayor of Montgomery in May of 1954, and followed it up in writing, asking for changes to the bus segregation practices and informing him that if conditions on the busses did not change, citizens would stage a boycott. She stated that with three-fourths of the riders being African American, the busses would not be able to function without their patronage. When conditions did not change, the WPC waited for the right event to serve as the catalyst for the boycott. Three opportunities arose in 1955 when, at different times, a woman was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. When, on December 1, Rosa Parks was arrested, the leaders knew the time was right.

Thesis statement on Rosa parks?


Section Seven Introduction:
Do you agree that hope, as Tony Kushner put it, is a moral obligation? What's the difference between naive hope and hope that's grounded in history?

Do secular and religious activists differ in their views of social commitment and the reasons for persistence? If so how? You could interview activists in both category, perhaps even those working on the same side of a particular issue like climate change. Or if you're active in an issue, talk with compatriots who differ in their theological worldview.

"Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King

What is the central thesis of the excerpt from "Letter from Birmingham Jail"? Had you read any of King's writings before, aside from his "I Have a Dream" speech?

Explain what King meant when he said: "Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." Think of an example in your own life that supports King's point.

Explain what King means by the "myth of time" when he says he hoped that "the white moderate would reject the myth of time." Explain situation(s) in which this point is still applicable today. Take a current situation where people don't act because they believe a particular issue will simply be addressed in due time (or maybe is impossible to adequately address). Discuss possible courses of action on that partiular issue that can and should be taken today.

More than forty years ago, Martin Luther King wrote that "we will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." Is this statement true for today's generation as well? Explain. Identify situations and issues of today that people should be discussing more, but where too many are remaining silent. List at least three examples.

The original audience for King's letter was white Christian ministers. What gives the letter it's broader and enduring appeal? Did the letter speak to you, and if so how?

"The Real Rosa Parks" by Paul Rogat Loeb

Explain in your own words why the retelling of the Rosa Parks story as most know it may actually make it harder for ordinary citizens to get involved in issues of social change? Did you know the real story before reading this book or Loeb's other work? How does knowing the real story shift your view of social change?

What is the empowering moral of the Rosa Parks story? What does that moral suggest to you about your own involvement and/or responsibility for social change?

Do you agree or disagree that Parks's first action in going to a NAACP meeting was just as pivotal as her stand on the bus? Would one have happened without the other?

Had you heard of Highlander Center/Highlander Folk School? If not, what does it say about our education that such an important institution is omitted from our history? Research what they're doing now, to continue their earlier legacy.

Who are some of the models of social commitment you have known in your life? If you can't think of anyone right now, look back at the essays in this anthology; and identify 2-3 people you would like to remember as models of social commitment.

Interview someone who is a model of social commitment (or read more about someone you've identified from this anthology) in order to find out additional information about the daily struggles that they faced and how they kept on going.

Research one of the following historical efforts at change: the American union movement; the movement that brought us Social Security; the women's suffrage movement; the origin of the 40 hour week; the environmental movement. Through your research, identify a person often associated with the movement who often has been overlooked, but serves as a model of social commitment.

"Prisoners of Hope" by Cornel West

In the opening paragraph, West asserts that the divide between the haves and have-nots of this nation is widening. Find at least three facts or statistics through additional research that support West's assertions.

Explain what is meant by the Biblical quote: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world but lose his own soul?" List any books, poems, songs, or movies that continue to explore this question today.

Summarize what Cornel West is saying about rage and its need to have some kind of constructive channel. Do you agree/disagree? Explain.

What does it mean to ask that our leaders "Make it real"? In this time of deep political division, how can we distinguish empty rhetoric from real vision?

West asserts that "a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it." What are some ways you've already contributed toward making the world a better place by your words or actions? What are two of your long term goals for doing this? (Remember "the real Rosa Parks" story-actions for social change often have small beginnings.)

Rosa Parks - Research Paper - Gina June - Google Sites

This brave woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance, but her lonely act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America, and made her an inspiration to freedom-loving

I need help with a thesis statement for Rosa Parks and …

the popular image of rosa parks as a meek, passive, turn-the-other cheek sort of person is quite differnt than the impression that emerges from her memoir. Indeed, as a child, when a white boy called her "nigger" she threatened him, "if you come over here, we’ll give you a good beating" (p.51). As an adult Parks hosts a meeting of heavily armed civil rights activists in her home.
Using evidence from Rosa Parks: MY STORY, support or oppose the argument that rosa parks agreed with the necessity of armed (violent) self defense as a political tool in the fight for black civil rights. USE FOOTNOTES.