A Tribute to Sister Rosa Parks

New exhibit at the Library of Congress

Rosa ParksI’m talking a wild guess you might have heard about Rosa Parks, who was born February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, AL and died October 24, 2005 in Detroit, MI.

The Wikipedia says, “Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has called her ‘the first lady of civil rights’ and ‘the mother of the freedom movement.'”

But I saw a story this past December about a NEW Rosa Parks exhibit at the Library of Congress. It contains a treasure trove of her letters. Some are written on backs on food labels. I hope to see it; the exhibit runs through September 2020. At about the same time, a new Rosa Parks statue was unveiled in Montgomery, AL.

The King Institute website has a lot of important information about her. Among the featured documents that have been chosen from the King Papers collection:

Arrest Report for Claudette Colvin. City of Montgomery Police Department. March 02, 1955. Who is she? She was a precursor to Rosa, as I noted a decade ago. Fred Gray, Alabama civil rights attorney said, “Claudette gave all of us moral courage. If she had not done what she did, I am not sure that we would have been able to mount the support for Mrs. Parks.”

Arrest Record For Rosa Parks. City of Montgomery Police Department. December 01, 1955.

Announcement, Another Negro Woman has been Arrested — Don’t Ride the Bus. Robinson, Jo Ann Gibson (Women’s Political Council (WPC)), December 02, 1955. “Don’t Ride the Bus”. Robinson, Jo Ann Gibson (Women’s Political Council (WPC)), December 02, 1955.

“Resolution” – Montgomery Improvement Association. December 08, 1955.

Music

There’s an album that came out some years ago, with snippets of dialogue from Rosa Parks between music tracks. This is my favorite song: Help Us Lord – The Chosen.

Here’s a track from the mighty Neville Brothers, Sister Rosa.

Boycotting the cafeteria

boycottSometimes, I just get annoyed.

I’ve mentioned the cafeteria in our building. It got taken over by this new company that was nickel-and-diming everything. A cup of ice was ten cents without a drink, but then they charged a dime even when people bought a drink. The prices went up, generally as well.

But there was a woman who worked behind the register who got fired that really set me off. Her name was Shirley. She’d worked in the origination about ten years. She was let go because she was so highly paid; after a decade, she was making a whopping $12/hour. She knew all the customers by name, something no one else did.

So I stopped going to the cafeteria. I buy food from home, or buy a Subway sub on the way to work for lunch. It’s been a couple months now.

A real boycott, I suppose, one would announce and galvanize the folks. I do know several others who have avoided the place, but I have no idea whether it is making any difference to the bottom line. But it feels like the right thing.
***
Burger King to Buy Tim Hortons for $11.4 Billion. And I boycott BK because they’re playing that corporate inversion game.
***
I’m forever getting Facebook notices to boycott Rush Limbaugh’s sponsors or asked to sign some petition because of something the windbag says, most recently about Robin Williams and the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

I’ve discovered there are some people who are such clowns that I no longer pay attention to what they say, and wonder why anyone cares anymore. Rush is background noise. Nothing he says matters to me, he convinces no one of his point of view who wasn’t already convinced. He’s just not worth my minimal effort.
***
Speaking of Change.org petitions, Please Invite the Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars to the White House.

The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars were a Little League team comprised of African American youth from Charleston, South Carolina. The team was denied the opportunity to participate in the 1955 Little League World Series (LLWS) due to a collective boycott of South Carolina’s 61 white leagues. Little League Baseball, to its credit, refused the state’s request to host a segregated tournament but also barred the Cannon Street team from competing in the LLWS due to an existing rule prohibiting teams from advancing via forfeit…

Rather than succumb to bitterness, these fourteen boys have grown into strong, loving, and upstanding citizens. Their lives are a testament to the character and courage learned through playing America’s pastime.

So rectifying a previous boycott seems to be a fair outcome.

To boycott or not to boycott; that is the question

The traditional idea that international sports events should be a place to create cooperation through competition is damaged by boycotts, as are the athletes that have trained for years for the opportunity to participate.

There is a movement to have the United States and other nations boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and I’m a bit conflicted about it.

One group wants to boycott because of the country’s highly repressive new law banning any speech that equates the social status same-sex relationships with heterosexual ones. I agree with the intent of the boycott in this case. But we’ve had Olympics in repressive regimes before; the dissidents in Beijing were just locked away for the Summer Olympics in 2008, and let’s not even talk about Tibet.

Another group wants to boycott because Russia has given sanctuary to Edward Snowden, the leaker of all that NSA classified information Continue reading “To boycott or not to boycott; that is the question”

Hostess: the mostess, for a few

I boycotted Hostess from about 1970 until the Vietnam war was over in 1975.

For me, the issue of the Hostess Brands snack food line apparently going under – I can’t believe that someone won’t buy this venerable line – isn’t the loss of Ding Dongs. It’s that, apparently, the company had “manipulated” its executives’ pay–sending its former chief executive’s salary, in particular, skyrocketing- in the months leading up to its Chapter 11 filing, in an effort to dodge the Bankruptcy Code’s compensation requirements.

Yet the stories I hear on the nightly news Continue reading “Hostess: the mostess, for a few”

Paul Simon’s Graceland, plus 25

When the Graceland album comes out in the fall of 1986, there are a lot of positive reviews, though there is some discussion of cultural imperialism, talk Simon occasionally faced directly,

On June 5, the 25th anniversary edition of the landmark Paul Simon album Graceland will be released. It has a few demo or alternate tracks, plus something described as “The Story of ‘Graceland’ as told by Paul Simon,” which could be interesting. But what is really intriguing is the DVD that comes with it, Under African Skies, directed by Joe Berlinger, which I saw on A&E a few days ago. It not only discusses the making of the album, and shows the reunion of many of the artists; it also addresses the huge controversy over the album and the subsequent tour.

There was a United Nations cultural (and other) boycott of South Africa at the time Continue reading “Paul Simon’s Graceland, plus 25”