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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On The Media-- ”TABULA ROSA”

the true Rosa Parks, an activist.
As Tim Tyson says, we don't have a lot of pacficist white heroes in America.


BOB GARFIELD: Rosa Parks died Monday, a humble woman whose act of defiance helped galvanize the civil rights movement. Her story is the stuff of legend, a mixture of reality and myth. Here to help us unpack that legend and bring us closer to the whole truth of Rosa Parks is Tim Tyson, professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin"

TIM TYSON: There's a sense in which Mrs. Parks is very important to our post-civil rights racial narrative, because we really want a kind of sugar-coated civil rights movement that's about purity and interracial non-violence. And so we don't really want to meet the real Rosa Parks. We don't, for example, want to know that in the late 1960s, Rosa Parks became a black nationalist and a great admirer of Malcolm X. I met Rosa Parks at the funeral of Robert F. Williams, who had fought the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina with a machine gun in the late 1950s and then fled to Cuba, and had been a kind of international revolutionary icon of black power. Ms. Parks delivered the eulogy at his funeral. She talks in her autobiography and says that she never believed in non-violence and that she was incapable of that herself, and that she kept guns in her home to protect her family. But we want a little old lady with tired feet. You may have noticed we don't have a lot of pacifist white heroes. We prefer our black people meek and mild, I think.


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