Rosa Parks' Legacy

By Jones, Jimmy E. | Islamic Horizons, January/February 2006 | Go to article overview

Rosa Parks' Legacy


Jones, Jimmy E., Islamic Horizons


Muslim Americans can draw lessons from the legacy of Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks (nee McCauley, 1913-2005) died on Oct. 24, 2005. In many ways her passing symbolized the end of an era. For many of us African American "baby boomers", the '60s Civil Rights movement began on Dec. 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks simply refused to follow the irrational dictates of Montgomery, AL's Jim Crow laws. These laws provided that "whites" and "coloreds" were not allowed to sit together on public transportation. Thus, there was a "white" section of the bus (in front) and a "colored" section (in the rear). On this occasion, there were apparently more "white" people on the bus than there were "white" seats in the "white" section. Consequently, "colored" seats were magically transformed to "white" seats.

While we no longer have such blatant and irrational legal segregation in this country, it is clear that in 1426H/ 2005CE institutional racism is still alive and well. We see it in discriminatory housing patterns that encourage substandard ghetto neighborhoods and low performing public schools. We see it in the criminal justice system that often metes out punishment based on race and economic status. We also saw it most recently in the Katrina hurricane disaster that exposed the reality of the still strong connection between race and poverty in the U.S.

In spite of all of this, some things have gotten better. For instance, since the Civil Rights movement, we have witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the black middle class. However, even though more of us can now drive a Lexus, the reality is that for what has been dubbed the "black underclass" things have gotten worse. In addition, since 9/11/2001, the Muslim American community has become "colored" in much the same way African Americans were during the era before the Civil Rights movement.

From a Muslim perspective, we are encouraged to learn from the past (see Qur'an 6:11, 12:109,16:36, 27:69, 30:9 & 42, 35:44, and 47:18). In taking a look at Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement that her actions helped to spawn, there is much that the Muslim community can learn. In reflecting on what we might learn, I suggest that we focus on three critical areas: racism, sexism, and classism. These three "isms" represent a triple threat to the integrity of the Muslim community in this country.

While the Qur'an calls us to racial equality (49:13), gender justice (33:38), and economic equity (59:7), we often fall far short in all three areas. For instance, we still have Islamic centers seemingly reserved for one cultural group and/or men and/or the economically prosperous. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rosa Parks' Legacy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.