Rosa - Visual Piece Description

The narrative around the Montgomery bus boycott is that Rosa Parks was just a poor seamstress who was tired one day and decided spur of the moment to not move her seat, and that her sudden arrest was what sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This is what is often taught in schools, but it is untrue. The reality is that she was politically aware and active, and her refusal was planned and organized by the NAACP. Her arrest and what ensued was a community effort. 

The title of my piece is Rosa. I chose to portray Rosa Parks in a way that shows truth. Her face is a collage made out of other civil rights leaders faces, pictures from the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, grassroots African American leaders, African American writers, and others. Rosa Parks was a face to the Montgomery bus boycott, but there were more people involved. This is why in Rosa I chose to have smaller pictures coming together to make up her face.

While sometimes an individual can be a face or a symbol to a movement, it takes many people working together to get things done. The idea that only certain special people can create change is useful when you want to prevent change from happening. This has idea been used  for too long to stop people from coming together in powerful ways (and, I believe, stems from a colonial logic and capitalistic desire and to own and be recognized). Not everyone could be Rosa Parks, but everyone could have been involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in some way. It is important to teach the truth in schools so kids can envision themselves as change-makers, too. One person can not do it on their own. We must organize! 

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