On Nov. 2 when civil rights activist Rosa Parks was put to rest in Detroit, some of today’s youth voiced their concerns on the fact that many of their peers do not fully appreciate the actions of Parks and the challenge to conserve her memory for future generations.
”Our generation isn’t in touch with the accomplishments of icons such as Parks as we should be,” said Tiffani Blackwell, a senior at Old Dominion University.
”It’s sad to say but, I honestly don’t know if her memory will be kept alive like other leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but we’ll just have to see.”
Bruce Gordon, President and CEO, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said in a statement released Monday, that the death of Rosa Parks marked the sad end of an era.
”Rosa Parks served as an inspiration to generations of African Americans and all people of good will,” said Gordon. “More than an icon, Mrs. Parks is symbolic of the thousands of courageous NAACP workers who fight for civil rights in their communities.”
Julio Garcia, a junior at Howard University, says that his generation does not fully appreciate Parks and how her actions sparked changes that affect our lives today.
However, Garcia believes the memory of Parks will not totally fade.
”She (Parks) was a major part of history for all people, not just Black. Her actions stood not just for that moment, but will be remembered for a lifetime.”
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) on NPR’s All Things Considered radio program said that as a youth, Parks inspired protest and inspired his generation to “get in the way,” of the segregation law of Jim Crow.
This generation hopes to maintain that same spark that Lewis had when he was inspired by Parks, but as years go by and generations pass, it becomes more difficult to maintain the spark that started the fire.