IMG_2979These plaques were installed in Nashville buses following the death of Rosa Parks in 2005. They weren’t installed in every bus, just some, so you never know when you’re going to see them. It seems to me like a metaphor for what happened to Rosa Parks. The woman who asked her to move didn’t expect to be told “No.”
The story that was taught us in school was that Rosa Parks was physically exhausted, too tired to move. It’s more profound, I think, if she was able to move but mentally exhausted, tired of being told to move by people who were unwilling to take perfectly good seats farther back on the bus. It takes more courage to remain, to take a stand, when you’re capable of moving.
It was an important moment in the civil rights movement, a movement created and led by people who could have moved but instead had the courage to stay seated.


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  2. Ann Koplow

    I am unreserved in my admiration for this post, Chris.

  3. Sandra

    Very interesting…not the story of Rosa Parks, her story is fantastic and brave, but I love the plaques in the bus.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      They are very interesting, and I like it that they’re not on every bus. As good as it is to be reminded of the story of Rosa Parks I think the surprise of seeing the plaques on some buses and not others just underscores the point that you never know who’s riding the bus.


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