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Professor Remembers Rosa Parks


The woman who took a stand by taking a seat has died. Rosa Parks passed away Monday. KSMU's Missy Shelton spoke with a Missouri State University about Parks and the impact she made on civil rights.

The woman who took a stand by taking a seat has died.

Rosa Parks passed away Monday.

Many credit her with sparking the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in 1955.

Johnny Washington is a professor of philosophy and African-American studies at Missouri State University.

He says he was about ten years old and was living in Alabama when Parks was arrested.

Washington says Parks' refusal to give her seat on the bus proved to be a turning point, giving a push to desegregation efforts that had been underway for several years.

While Rosa Parks' refusal to give her seat on the bus wasn't staged, civil rights leaders had asked her to help them in their effort to end segregation of the public transit system.

African-American Studies professor Johnny Washington says Parks was a good choice because of her character AND because of her gender.

Washington says Parks displayed courage in her act of defiance, particularly in her willingness to use non-violent means to make her point.

Washington says the death of Rosa Parks should make everyone consider what has happened since she took a stand by taking a seat in 1955 and how things will continue to change in the future.

Flags around Missouri are being flown at half-staff in honor of Rosa Parks.

Several years ago, state lawmakers named a portion of a Missouri highway after Parks