Top of page

Rosa Parks, In Her Own Words: A Short Documentary

Share this post:

Rosa Parks was one of the major figures of the American 20th Century, which the Library’s new exhibit demonstrates. But she’s really not the “quiet seamstress” of popular myth. From childhood, when she sat up nights with her shotgun-toting grandfather who was ready to defend his family from KKK attackers, she was an intense, committed activist with a deep sense of social justice.

In this six-minute documentary, Condoleezza Rice, Bryan Stevenson, Ken Burns, Jacqueline Woodson, Sharon Robinson and Parks biographer Jeanne Theoharis read from her private writings and talk of the woman behind the icon. As Burns says, “It’s imporant that we liberate Rosa Parks, and liberate ourselves, from the tyranny of superficial history.”

Subscribe to the blog— it’s free! — and the largest library in world history will send cool stories straight to your inbox.

Comments (2)

  1. Nicely done! Thanks for sharing this video and for all you do to preserve and make Parks’ body of work available to all!

  2. Thanks for this concise documentary that shares Parks’s own words. It is important for all of us to get past the old story of her as simply being too tired to leave her seat on the bus all those years ago.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.