Cover image for Quiet strength : the faith, the hope, and the heart of a woman who changed a nation
Quiet strength : the faith, the hope, and the heart of a woman who changed a nation
Parks, Rosa, 1913-2005.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Grand Rapids, Mich. : Zondervan Pub. House, c1994.
Physical Description:
93 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
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Call Number
Material Type
Avoca Free Library 1 B PARKS Adult NonFiction Book
Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 B PARKS Adult NonFiction Book
Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 BP252Q Adult NonFiction Book
Horseheads Free Library 1 BP252 Adult NonFiction Book
Odessa - Dutton S. Peterson Memorial Library 1 B PARKS Adult NonFiction Book
Penn Yan Public Library 1 B PARKS Adult NonFiction Book
Prattsburgh Library 1 B PARKS Adult NonFiction Book
Scio Memorial Library 1 B PARKS Adult NonFiction Book
Watkins Glen Public Library 1 B PARKS Adult NonFiction Book

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On June 15, 1999, Mrs. Rosa Parks was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor-a tribute to the power of one solitary woman to influence the soul of a nation. But awards and influence were far from her mind when, on December 1, 1955, she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was not trying to start a movement. She was simply tired of social injustice and did not think a woman should be forced to stand so that a man could sit down. Yet her simple act of courage set in motion a chain of events that changed forever the landscape of American race relations. Quiet Strength celebrates the principles and convictions that have guided her through a remarkable life. It is a printed record of her legacy-her lasting message to a world still struggling to live in harmony. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She attended the Montgomery Industrial School, which emphasized domestic sciences such as cooking, sewing, and caring for the sick. She married Raymond Parks in 1932 and was one of the first women to join the Montgomery branch of the NAACP in 1943. On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man and was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance. Her actions inspired 50,000 blacks in Montgomery to boycott the city buses for a year until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the segregated busing policy was unconstitutional.

She moved to Detroit, Michigan with her husband in 1957 and served as a secretary/ receptionist for U.S. Representative John Conyers from 1965 to 1988. She founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, which sponsors an annual summer bus trip around the country for teenagers to learn the history of their country and the civil rights movement. She received numerous awards during her lifetime including the NAACP's Springarn Medal in 1979, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999. She died on October 24, 2005 at the age of 92.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Parks, one of the U.S.' authentic living legends, is the black lady who on December 1, 1955, refused to surrender her bus seat to a white man, was arrested under the Jim Crow law that required blacks to make way for whites, and thereby launched the yearlong bus boycott by blacks in Birmingham, Alabama, which led to the national overturning of that city's and similar segregation laws across the nation. In this tiny collection of what seem like outtakes from oral-history tapes, she rehearses her great day (as it seems from the perspective of history; Parks remembers it as "not a happy experience. . . . I had not planned to be arrested"), stressing that it wasn't, as many have romanticized, because her feet were tired that she didn't move, but because she was "tired of being oppressed . .ÿ20. just plain tired." Her remarks, disposed somewhat arbitrarily into sections topically named "Fear," "Pain," "Character," "Faith," "Values," reflect her lifelong commitment to justice for black Americans and to peace and equal opportunity for all. Further, she leaves no doubt that her persistence in these causes springs from her deep Christian faith and the obligation she feels to make a better world for future generations. Perhaps the sentiments are not all that special, but their speaker certainly is special. (Reviewed January 1, 1995)0310501504Ray Olson



Chapter 1FearYea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.â€"Psalm 23:4As a child, I learned from the Bible to trust in God and not be afraid. I have always felt comforted by reading the Psalms, especially Psalms 23 and 27. My grandfather also influenced me to not be afraid. A very proud man, he was never fearfulâ€"especially when it came to defending his home and family. Back in those days, fear was something very real for black people. There was so much hatred toward blacksâ€"especially from white supremacy groups, like the Ku Klux Klan. I remember one day when the KKK came near our house after many incidents of hate crimes against nearby blacks. My grandfather never seemed afraid. At night he would sit with his shotgun and say that he did not know how long he would last, but if they came breaking in our house, he was going to get the first one who came through the door. He never looked for trouble, but he believed in defending his home. I saw and heard so much as a child growing up with hate and injustice against black people. I learned to put my trust in God and to seek Him as my strength. Long ago I set my mind to be a free person and not to give in to fear. I always felt that it was my right to defend myself if I could. I have learned over the years that when oneâ€TMs mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. When I sat down on the bus the day I was arrested, I was thinking of going home. I had made up my mind quickly about what it was that I had to do, what I felt was right to do. I did not think of being physically tired or fearful. After so many years of oppression and being a victim of the mistreatment that my people had suffered, not giving up my seatâ€"and whatever I had to face after not giving it upâ€"was not important. I did not feel any fear at sitting in the seat I was sitting in. All I felt was tired. Tired of being pushed around. Tired of seeing the bad treatment and disrespect of children, women, and men just because of the color of their skin. Tired of the Jim Crow laws. Tired of being oppressed. I was just plain tired. I felt the Lord would give me the strength to endure whatever I had to face. God did away with all my fear. It was time for someone to stand upâ€"or in my case, sit down. I refused to move. We blacks are not as fearful or divided as people may think. I cannot let myself be so afraid that I am unable to move around freely and express myself. If I do, then I am undoing the gains we have made in the civil rights movement. Love, not fear, must be our guide. In these days, many people are feeling a different type of fear that is hard to break free of. There are so many new things to be afraid of that were not as common in the earlier days. We should not let fear overcome us. We must remain strong. Violence and crime seem so much more prevalent. It is easy to say that we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Many of our children are going astray. But I still remain hopeful. Excerpted from Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation by Rosa Parks, Gregory J. Reed All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

About Rosa Parksp. 11
Fearp. 15
Defiancep. 19
Injusticep. 29
Painp. 35
Characterp. 41
Role Modelsp. 45
Faithp. 53
Valuesp. 63
Quiet Strengthp. 69
Determinationp. 73
Youthp. 79
The Futurep. 85
Rosa Parks: A Chronologyp. 91

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