The whole nation mourns the loss of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Ms. Parks was a one woman tornado contained in the small, heroic body of a small black woman. She is an encouragement to not only African-Americans, but to all Americans; she embodied the idea that change can happen - things can get better. As our country honors Ms. Parks (her remains will most likely lie in state at the Capital Rotunda in Washington, DC - the first woman to be so honored), I find that it's the small gestures rather than the large that make me proud to see how far our country has come. As a case in point, both the Detroit (where she moved after her courageous stance caused death threats and unemployment for the dear woman) and Montgomery (where she refused to move to the back of the bus) bus systems have draped the front seats with black ribbons in memory of the dear woman's passing. I'm sure that when she got to paradise, God himself came out to shake her hand and welcome her to heaven.
Copyright 2005 The Austin American Statesman