Rosa Parks, In Her Own Words: A Short Documentary

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.”

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2 Comments

  1. Meg Miner
    December 7, 2019 at 9:10 am

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

  2. Nan Stifel
    December 9, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    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.

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