2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Dawkins, Simmons, Frazier, Jordan, Walls, Harden, Jackson (11th), Thomas, Bryan, Butler, Morgan, Tollison, Browning, Clarke, Davis, Gollott, Hewes, Horhn, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (15th), Jackson (32nd), Lee (35th), Little, Nunnelee, Posey, Ross, Thames, Turner, Walley, White, Wilemon, Williamson
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF ROSA LOUISE MCCAULEY PARKS, THE "MOTHER OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT," AND RECOGNIZING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF HER REFUSAL TO GIVE UP HER SEAT ON THE BUS AND SUBSEQUENT DESEGREGATION OF AMERICAN SOCIETY.
WHEREAS, Rosa Parks, whose act of civil disobedience in 1955 inspired the modern civil rights movement, died Monday, October 24, 2005, in Detroit, Michigan. She was 92 years old; and
WHEREAS, Rosa Louise Parks was born on February 4, 1913, as Rosa Louise McCauley to James and Leona McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama. Rosa Louise Parks was educated in Pine Level, Alabama, until the age of 11, when she enrolled in the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls and then went on to attend the Alabama State Teachers College's High School. On December 18, 1932, Rosa Louise McCauley married Raymond Parks and the two settled in Montgomery, Alabama; and
WHEREAS, together, Raymond and Rosa Parks worked in the Montgomery, Alabama, branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where Raymond served as an active member and Rosa served as a secretary and youth leader; and
WHEREAS, on December 1, 1955, Rosa Louise Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat in the "colored" section of the bus to a white man on the orders of the bus driver because the "white" section was full; the arrest of Rosa Louise Parks led African Americans and others to boycott the Montgomery city bus line until the buses in Montgomery were desegregated. The 381-day Montgomery bus boycott encouraged other courageous people across the United States to organize in protest and demand equal rights for all; and
WHEREAS, the fearless acts of civil disobedience displayed by Rosa Louise Parks and others resulted in a legal action challenging Montgomery's segregated public transportation system which subsequently led to the United States Supreme Court, on November 13, 1956, affirming a district court decision that held that Montgomery segregation codes denied and deprived African Americans of the equal protection of the laws (352 U.S. 903); and
WHEREAS, in the years following the Montgomery bus boycott, Rosa Louise Parks moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1957, and continued her civil rights work through efforts that included working in the office of Congressman John Conyers, Jr., from 1965 until 1988, and in 1987 started the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development that motivated youth to reach their highest potential. Congressman Conyers stated "I think that she, as the mother of the new civil rights movement, has left an impact not just on the nation, but on the world. She was a real apostle of the nonviolence movement"; and
WHEREAS, Rosa Louise Parks has been commended for her work in the realm of civil rights with such recognitions as the NAACP's Springarn Medal in 1979, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Nonviolent Peace Prize in 1980, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999; and
WHEREAS, in 2005, the year marking the 50th anniversary of Rosa Louise Parks' refusal to give up her seat on the bus, we recognize the courage, dignity and determination displayed by the late Rosa Louise Parks as she confronted injustice and inequality:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby (1) celebrate and commend the life of Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, the "Mother of the Modern-day Civil Rights Movement"; (2) recognize and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Rosa Louise Parks' refusal to give up her seat on the bus and the subsequent desegregation of American society; (3) encourage the people of the United States to recognize and celebrate this anniversary and the subsequent legal victories that sought to eradicate segregation in all of American society; and (4) endeavor to work with the same courage, dignity and determination exemplified by Civil Rights pioneer, Rosa Louise Parks, to address modern-day inequalities and injustice.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a certified copy of this resolution be forwarded by the Secretary of State to the President of the United States and to the members of Mississippi's congressional delegation, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.