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Life Arts

Two Who Sparked the Second American Revolution

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Today is the third Monday in January, the day on which Americans traditionally celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   In fact, Dr. King (MLK) was born on January 15, 1929, and he died from an assassin's bullet on April 4, 1968 at the age of 39.

Doctor King is usually referred to as the father of the American Civil Rights Movement.   But MLK's predecessor in what I think of as the Second American Revolution, Rosa Parkes (or Parks), challenged racial segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, a decade before MLK became nationally famous.   And Ms. Parks lived well on into the 21st Century, continuing her work as a civil rights advocate until October 24, 2005 when she died of natural causes at the age of 92.   Ms. Parks was born on February 4, 1913.

There follows a brief photographic essay featuring the young Martin Luther King and the ever-young Rosa Parks, two African-Americans who sparked the second American Revolution, between 1955 and 1968.   Their names and images will live forever in the hearts and halls of those who hold freedom dear.  

NB: All the images below and the inter-images text with links to Wikipedia are courtesy of Wikipedia.


MLK in 1964, by Wikipedia

A picture of MLK taken during a lecture he gave in 1964. 


Rosa Parks Being Booked in 1956, by Wikipedia

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On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama , Rosa Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake 's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger.  Parks' act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation .   She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr. , helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.

MLK and Rosa Parks in 1955, by Wikipedia

Parks eventually received many honors ranging from the 1979 Spingarn Medal to the Presidential Medal of Freedom , the Congressional Gold Medal and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall . Her death in 2005 was a major story in the United States' leading newspapers.

In 2006, Ms. Parks was honored nationally, again, and posthumously when her remains were transferred to Washington DC's Capitol Rotunda.  

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March on Washington, DC, in 1968, by Wikipedia

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a large political rally in support of civil and economic rights for African-Americans that took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic " I Have a Dream " speech advocating racial harmony at the Lincoln Memorial during the march. The march was organized by a group of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations, under the theme "jobs, and freedom."   Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 (police) to over 300,000 (leaders of the march). Observers estimated that 75 -80% of the marchers were black and the rest were white and other minorities.   The march is widely credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965) .

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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