Early mornings 🌅
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Women In Paint # 7 Part 1:
(February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005). Called ‘the first lady of civil rights’ by The United States Congress, Rosa Parks is best known for the Montgomery Bus Boycott in which she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger – an act that became an important symbol of the civil rights movement.
On each Montgomery bus, the first four rows were reserved for white passengers, with a section - often at the back - labelled ‘colored’. The black community made up 75% of the riders, but if white people needed seats the black passengers had to stand, or - if there was no more room - leave the bus.
If white people were already sat at the front, black people would have to board to pay the fare, only to then exit the bus and re-enter through the rear doors.
In 1943, Rosa Parks boarded a bus driven by James F. Blake. After paying the fare she moved to her seat but was told by Blake to re-enter through the back door. When Rosa went to do so, Blake drove off without her.
On December 1st 1955, Rosa once again found herself on a bus driven by Blake. Once the ‘whites only’ section was filled, Blake told Rosa to give up her seat in the ‘colored’ section. Rosa refused. Recounting the situation, Rosa explained “People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in”. This painting depicts three children silhouetted against an Alabaman sunset, being lifted up by a flutter of black butterflies. This symbolizes Rosa’s legacy as an icon of the resistance movement, rising to defy racial segregation for future generations. It is inspired by Rosa’s quote:“I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom”.