*Rosa Parks, the civil rights icon made famous for her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1955, is often mischaracterized as a quiet seamstress, with little attention paid to her full life story. A new Library of Congress exhibition, “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words,” will reveal the real Rosa Parks was a seasoned activist with a militant spirit forged over decades of challenging inequality and injustice.
Opening Dec. 5, this will be the first exhibition of the Rosa Parks Collection, which includes her personal writings, reflections, photographs, records and memorabilia. The collection was placed on loan with the Library in 2014 and became a permanent gift in 2016 through the generosity of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
“Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words” will immerse visitors in Parks’ words, reflections, handwritten notes and photographs from throughout her life, allowing her to tell her own life story. Four sections of the exhibition will explore Parks’ early life and activism, the Montgomery bus boycott, the fallout from Parks’ arrest for her family and their move to Detroit, and the global impact of her life.
“Rosa Parks lived a life dedicated to equal rights and social justice, and she helped change the country with the example she set,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Our new exhibition is an important milestone for Rosa Parks to tell her story for new generations through her own words and pictures now preserved at the Library of Congress.”
Born and reared in Alabama during the Jim Crow era of legally mandated segregation, Rosa Louise McCauley was taught by her grandfather “never to accept mistreatment.” She married Raymond Parks, a charter member of the NAACP branch in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1932, and together they were early activists for racial equality. They would organize to free the Scottsboro Boys in the 1930s. In 1943, Rosa Parks became the secretary of the Montgomery NAACP, and the branch focused on voter registration and cases of racial violence and discrimination.
After the bus incident, she was punished with death threats, unemployment and poverty – but remained committed to the struggle for social justice.
Throughout her life, Parks would advocate for civil rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, prisoners’ rights and black youth, and she spoke out against apartheid and other injustices around the world.
Highlights from the exhibition include:
- The Parks’ family Bible – being exhibited for the first time;
- Photographs and letters documenting Parks’ family and early years;
- Parks’ account of “keeping vigil” with her grandfather to protect their home from Klansmen;
- A manuscript in which Parks recalls a childhood encounter with a white boy who threatened to hit her and how she responded;
- Parks’ personal reflections on her arrest for refusing to surrender her seat on a bus to a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955, recounting the emotional toll of incarceration;
- Letters and documentation of the Montgomery bus boycott and its consequences for those who joined the protest;
- Political buttons, brochures, photographs and letters documenting the civil rights movement from the Parks papers and the vast NAACP Records at the Library;
- A handmade blue dress from Parks’ wardrobe, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture;
- Correspondence to Rep. John Conyers of Michigan when Parks worked on his congressional staff from 1965 to 1988;
- The Spingarn Medal citation, the NAACP’s highest honor, awarded to Parks in 1979;
- The Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Parks at the White House in 1996;
- The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Parks in 1999.
A new book, “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words,” is a companion to the exhibition and reveals the civil rights icon through her private manuscripts and handwritten notes. The book, published by the University of Georgia Press in association with the Library of Congress, includes more than 80 color and black-and-white images from Parks’ collection – many appearing in print for the first time
“Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words” is made possible by support from the Ford Foundation and Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, with additional support from AARP, HISTORY®, Joyce and Thomas Moorehead and The Capital Group. The Rosa Parks Collection is a gift of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The Library of Congress also is grateful to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, which worked closely with Rosa Parks to preserve her archive and legacy.
The Library is inviting visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers through a series of exhibitions, events and programs. Another ongoing exhibition drawing from the Library’s collections tells the story of the largest reform movement in American history – the more than 70-year fight to win voting rights for women – in “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote.”
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
Library of Congress
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH
*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!
Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai
SCREENPLAY BY | Kurt Wimmer
STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.
Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
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