5 Rosa Parks Quotes To Inspire You To Keep Fighting For Change
Rosa Parks sat down, but her words will move you.
February 02, 2020 at 6:37 pm
Rosa Parks is one of the most iconic figures in Black history.
Parks was arrested and fined for her refusal to give up her front seat on the bus for a white man. Following the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was spurred by Parks' strong-willed nature, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system. What many don't know is that Parks was also full of wisdom and life gems. Here are five of her most powerful quotes:
1. "If you want to be respected for your actions, then your behavior must be above reproach. If our lives demonstrate that we are peaceful, humble, and trusted, this is recognized by others."
In Parks' 1994 autobiography Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman who Changed a Nation, the late activist imparted the significance of leading a life that invites respect. Like Martin Luther King Jr., who played an integral role in the bus boycott, Parks was a nonviolent devout Christian.
2. "Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome."
There is no such thing as a post-racial society, and Parks wanted the younger generation to become woke, per this quote recorded by the Library of Congress.
3. "There is work to do; that is why I cannot stop or sit still. As long as a child needs help, as long as people are not free, there will be work to do. As long as an elderly person is attacked or in need of support, there is work to do. As long as we have bigotry and crime, we have work to do."
There is no age limit for standing up to racism. Parks was 42 years old when she was arrested for sitting down.
4. "Nothing in the Golden Rule says that others will treat us as we have treated them. It only says that we must treat others in a way that we would want to be treated."
Parks knew protesting was an art, as she communicated in Quiet Strength. Within that understanding was her knowledge that not all live by the Golden Rule and will do unto others what they likely couldn't fathom being done unto them.
5. "To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try."
In her 1996 book Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today's Youth, Parks reminded that leaders must be fearless, or at least have confidence when needed to rise to the occasion. Everyone fails at something sometimes. However, nothing gets done if you stay within your comfort zone.