Rosa Parks has passed away of natural causes. I recieved a phone call from a friend of mine in New York not too long ago asking me if I heard that Rosa Parks had passed away. What!? Was my response as on some level I guess we think that the people who have done anything significant in this world are supposed to live forever. Unfortunately that is not the case, physically at least. Her name will be spoken and remembered for her act for many many years to come. The significance of her act I believe have diminished over the 50 years since her arrest. However, One should realize that if not for her efforts the racism and segregation that is so covert today would not be at all. Can you imagine someone telling you that you must come through the back door of anyplace that today you walk into so freely.
I had the pleasure and extreme honor of meeting Rosa Parks at a Black History Celebration at my company. Mrs. Parks was our keynote speaker. The event was held accross the street at the Hilton Hotel to hold all of the employees and other spectators that attended. The feeling that came over the room is indescribable. The event took place almost 10 years ago and to this day I still can not articulate the feeling. Many people in the room immediately wept as she made her way to the podium. When she introduced herself, the applause was the real definition of thunderous! Awe is the only word that comes to my mind when I think about the experience.
I want to leave you with these words from Mrs. Parks.
At a celebration in her honor, she said: "I am leaving this legacy to all of you ... to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die - the dream of freedom and peace."
As on the day that I met and briefly spoke with Mrs. Parks I have no more words.