Photo by Tom Martinez
Often called the “first lady of civil rights,” the popular image of Rosa Parks is that of a quiet seamstress whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus helped end public segregation.
However, Jeanne Theoharis challenges this image of Parks in her new book
, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
, which received a 2014 NAACP Image Award.
As part of Carnegie Mellon’s annual Margaret Morrison Distinguished Lecture in Women’s History
, Theoharis recalls Parks’ political philosophy and six decades of social justice work, rebuking the image of a quiet one-off protestor.
Theoharis reveals a woman who had a history of being rebellious, and how this rebellious nature impacted years of unjust social practice. Gwen Ifill of PBS Newshour has praised Theoharis for “giving us a valuable framework for understanding the present and future.”
The New York Times
describes Theoharis’ Rosa Parks, “as much Malcolm X as she is Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Theoharis, who is the author of several other books about the civil rights movement and contemporary race politics, will speak at 4:30 p.m. today following a short reception.
The free talk will be given in the Giant Eagle Auditorium, room A51 of Baker Hall at Carnegie Mellon, located at 1098 Morewood Ave., Oakland.