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The Rosa Parks Line

November 2, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

At a critical moment, Rosa Parks made the decision to stand up for what was right by not simply giving up her seat on a bus to a white person. This event helped to spark a seachange in American society that has served to enable African-Americans to fully participate in all that the USA has to offer all its citizens. As I boarded the Red Line to work this morning, I learned that the name of the route has temporarily been changed to the Rosa Parks Line in her honor as a tribute to her life and all she did for the Civil Rights Movement. The Mayor of Tempe was riding the bus earlier in the morning, and some flowers were placed in the front seat, just behind the driver.

The tributes to Rosa Parks remind me that we, too, must not simply be forced to get up and step aside while the rest of society passes us by on an ever increasing pace. We must struggle against discrimination and segregation and for the acceptance and accessibility we must have in order to participate in society. Will we, the blind, ultimately stand up for what is right, or will we get up and step aside? The decision is up to each of us. Let’s make the right one and follow the hard, winding road toward a better, more inclusive future for the blind!

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