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View Full Version : Who was the white guy.......


SandyHook
10-25-2005, 08:35 PM
.......that wanted Rosa Parks seat?


Is he alive today?

Any info on him, what the papers of the day had to say, etc would be appreciated.

Malodorous
10-25-2005, 08:49 PM
The bus driver was apparently a James Blake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Blake_%28bus_driver%29) who sounds like something of a prick (as one would expect). No idea about the passanger.

saoirse
10-25-2005, 09:13 PM
Oddly enought, at the time of the incident it was Rosa Parks who was defending the "color line." She was sitting in the front row of the colored section. The white section was full.

SomeGuy
10-25-2005, 09:42 PM
Oddly enought, at the time of the incident it was Rosa Parks who was defending the "color line." She was sitting in the front row of the colored section. The white section was full.
I'm not sure what you mean. It's not as though she was objecting to a white person sitting in the colored section. She was told to move to the back of the bus to make room for a white person, and she refused.

Marley23
10-25-2005, 09:55 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. It's not as though she was objecting to a white person sitting in the colored section. She was told to move to the back of the bus to make room for a white person, and she refused.
I don't think "defending the 'color line'" is how I'd put it either, but what saoirse wrote is right. Parks was already sitting in the colored section, but black passengers in the first few rows of that section were supposed to give those seats if any white people asked.

MLS
10-25-2005, 10:12 PM
And presumably stand the rest of the way so the white passenger could sit down. The story at the time was that she was tired from working all day and did not want to stand so that a white guy could sit.

picunurse
10-25-2005, 10:17 PM
And presumably stand the rest of the way so the white passenger could sit down. The story at the time was that she was tired from working all day and did not want to stand so that a white guy could sit.
Our local news show a clip of her denying that. She said the only thing she was tired of was having her rights stolen.
She had already been required to move once, and she was simply done. It was as much her right to sit comfortably as anyone, white or black.

SandyHook
10-25-2005, 10:26 PM
Our local news show a clip of her denying that. She said the only thing she was tired of was having her rights stolen.

This pretty much agrees with what the Wikkipedia article implied. The story, according to the article, that she was tired from working was made up after the fact, one supposes, to make her more sympathetic.

TellMeI'mNotCrazy
10-25-2005, 11:24 PM
This pretty much agrees with what the Wikkipedia article implied. The story, according to the article, that she was tired from working was made up after the fact, one supposes, to make her more sympathetic.
I'd think it was for the opposite effect - to downplay any nobility in her actions as just the actions of someone who couldn't be bothered. Not that that's how I view Rosa Parks, of course, just how I view that argument.

lissener
10-25-2005, 11:28 PM
I'd think it was for the opposite effect - to downplay any nobility in her actions as just the actions of someone who couldn't be bothered. Not that that's how I view Rosa Parks, of course, just how I view that argument.
I disagree; it brings home the fact that enforced prejudice impacts simple people's everday lives; that people only want to live and work like everyone else. Not everything has to be a Noble Principle; the "tired from work" story greatly humanized the struggle. Not every white person at the time could sympathize with the Political Principles involved; but everyone knows what it's like to be tired.

Jeff Lichtman
10-26-2005, 03:32 AM
Rosa Parks was a secretary for the local chapter of the NAACP, which was looking for a test case for the segregated seating rules on the Montgomery buses. They had already considered and passed over at least one case (as I remember, a young man who had things in his background that would have made him a less-than-sympathetic defendant). When Ms. Parks was ordered to give up her seat to a white man, she decided on the spot to make herself the test case.

She may have been tired from work, but she knew and cared about the larger issue.

SandyHook
10-26-2005, 10:55 AM
Rosa Parks was a secretary for the local chapter of the NAACP, which was looking for a test case for the segregated seating rules on the Montgomery buses. They had already considered and passed over at least one case (as I remember, a young man who had things in his background that would have made him a less-than-sympathetic defendant). When Ms. Parks was ordered to give up her seat to a white man, she decided on the spot to make herself the test case.


Don't you just hate it when you post something like this and they come along yelling, "cite." I'd never do that, no way. It always sounds like they don't believe you, or something.


But, wow cool. Where'd you find that out. I'd like to read more about this new angle on Ms Parks.

Guinastasia
10-26-2005, 11:06 AM
Don't you just hate it when you post something like this and they come along yelling, "cite." I'd never do that, no way. It always sounds like they don't believe you, or something.


But, wow cool. Where'd you find that out. I'd like to read more about this new angle on Ms Parks.

It's hardly a new angle-it's been fairly well known for years. I'm sure it's mentioned in some of the articles that are out about her now.

Personally, I think it makes her even cooler. Purposely deciding to stick it to the man.

Colibri
10-26-2005, 11:42 AM
But, wow cool. Where'd you find that out. I'd like to read more about this new angle on Ms Parks.

Rosa Parks was not "a secretary" for the NAACP, but became the Secretary (chapter officer) of the Montgomery, Alabama, chapter in 1943.

http://womensissues.about.com/cs/famouswomen/p/p_rosaparks.htm

Her husband Raymond was a NAACP activist, and they both worked in behalf of causes such as the Scottsboro boys in the 1930s.

Freddy the Pig
10-26-2005, 12:02 PM
I believe the white passenger's name is lost to history. At most his name would have been taken down as a potential witness at Rosa Parks' trial, but my understanding is that the trial was a pretty perfunctory affair--she wanted to be convicted, after all, to establish a viable test case for striking down the civic segregation law. (Although, as it turned out, the case which did so was Browder v. Gayle which did not involve Mrs. Parks.) It's just as well, I suppose, that the passenger concerned didn't brag about his role after the fact.

chrisk
10-26-2005, 12:02 PM
Don't you just hate it when you post something like this and they come along yelling, "cite." I'd never do that, no way. It always sounds like they don't believe you, or something.


But, wow cool. Where'd you find that out. I'd like to read more about this new angle on Ms Parks.

Slate magazine reran this article (http://www.slate.com/id/2071622/) yesterday, mentioning not a young man, but two teenage girls who had been arrested in Montgomery for refusing to give up their seats for white passengers... and saying that poverty, pregnancy, and family alcoholism were the reasons that the activists didn't go to bat for them as strongly as for Rosa.

Jeff Lichtman
10-26-2005, 12:30 PM
But, wow cool. Where'd you find that out. I'd like to read more about this new angle on Ms Parks.

It comes from the Penguin Lives biography of Rosa Parks (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0670891606/qid=1130345783/sr=2-3/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_3/104-6010879-0456712?v=glance&s=books) , which I read a few years ago.

BTW, the prior case which I mentioned in my previous post was not a young man, but a young woman. Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama on March 2, 1955. She was arrested, and although the NAACP did use her arrest in a civil rights lawsuit, they decided not to make her a national symbol for the cause of desegregation. The main reason was that she was, at the age of 15, unmarried and pregnant. There were also rumors that she had used profanity when she was arrested, something that she still denies. The NAACP wanted someone who was squeaky clean, and Rosa Parks fit the bill.

Claudette Colvin didn't go away, though. She was one of the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit that brought an end to this form of discrimination.

Crandolph
10-26-2005, 01:13 PM
I vaguely recall from reading some Howard Zinn (lefty historian who was an activist in the civil rights era) on the subject that Ms. Parks (or at least her office) had decided she'd make a great test case before she set foot on the bus that day. In other words the event was a bit more planned than the mythology around it has made it out to be. One can set out ahead of time to get arrested as a test case and still be tired after a day of work, and it seems likely to me both were true.

Unfortunately I don't remember which Zinn book or piece I read this in.

Push You Down
10-26-2005, 03:38 PM
Could the white man have been a plant as well and essentially 'disappeared' after the process was started?

Mahaloth
10-26-2005, 03:56 PM
Could the white man have been a plant as well and essentially 'disappeared' after the process was started?

Well, he didn't disappear. He reappeared on a grassy knoll in 1963 and killed Kennedy. Then he was the director for filming of the fake moon landing.

Anything could have happened, though I doubt it.

SandyHook
10-26-2005, 05:47 PM
It comes from the Penguin Lives biography of Rosa Parks , which I read a few years ago.


Looks like I'll be doing a little business with Amazon. Thanks.



Could the white man have been a plant as well and essentially 'disappeared' after the process was started?


Doesn't seem likely, but I like the way you think.


Would anyone have any ideas on how to get the records of her trial?

ltfire
10-26-2005, 06:48 PM
SandyHook
Charter Member

Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 931
Location: Shadow of the Sierras




Who was the white guy.......
------------------------------------------------------------------------
.......that wanted Rosa Parks seat?


Michael Jackson?

























Sorry.

:D

Julius Henry
10-26-2005, 10:21 PM
Some accounts I've read tell that Mrs. Parks and three others were asked to vacate their seats for some white persons. It's possible that a small group of whites got on at one stop, so therefore there was not just one particular person who set off all that ruckus.

John Carter of Mars
10-26-2005, 11:09 PM
Some accounts I've read tell that Mrs. Parks and three others were asked to vacate their seats for some white persons. It's possible that a small group of whites got on at one stop, so therefore there was not just one particular person who set off all that ruckus.

That's pretty much how I heard it. White passengers entered the bus, and the bus driver went back to make seats available for them. I don't think the passengers had much to do with the disturbance. It was between Parks & Co. and the bus driver.

missbunny
10-27-2005, 09:03 AM
I thought it was one white man who needed a seat but the entire row of black passengers were told to move, presumably so he wouldn't have to actually sit right next to a black person. A similar incident to this is described in John Howard Griffin's Black Like Me, where black passengers were told to vacate the whole row despite there being one empty seat so that a lone white passenger could sit in that seat.

No cite; just going by memory.

Jackknifed Juggernaut
10-27-2005, 10:58 AM
I heard on a TV news channel (can't recall which one) that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white female college student.

SandyHook
10-27-2005, 11:39 AM
Some accounts I've read tell that Mrs. Parks and three others were asked to vacate their seats for some white persons. It's possible that a small group of whites got on at one stop, so therefore there was not just one particular person who set off all that ruckus.

White passengers entered the bus, and the bus driver went back to make seats available for them. I don't think the passengers had much to do with the disturbance. It was between Parks & Co. and the bus driver.


This sounds reasonable to me. From reading Malodorous' post the complaint was by the bus driver, James Blake, who called the law on behalf of the bus company.

HeyHomie
10-27-2005, 12:41 PM
Slight hijack - It was ultimately a Supreme Court case that put an end to segregation in public transportation, but what of the Montgomery bus system prior to the case? By what I've read, the boycott crippled the system financially. Did they go kicking and screaming until the bitter end, or had they lost enough money that they were reconsidering their policies by the time the SCOTUS handed down the decision?

John Carter of Mars
10-28-2005, 09:38 PM
Slight hijack - It was ultimately a Supreme Court case that put an end to segregation in public transportation, but what of the Montgomery bus system prior to the case? By what I've read, the boycott crippled the system financially. Did they go kicking and screaming until the bitter end, or had they lost enough money that they were reconsidering their policies by the time the SCOTUS handed down the decision?

The boycott lasted 381 days. Blacks brought suit in a Federal Court and won the case. The decision was appealed and the Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision, then the boycott was ended. The result was complete integration of Montgomery's bus system.

A synopsis of the Montgomery bus boycott can be found at the following site: [Link] (http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/civilrights-55-65/montbus.html)

Freddy the Pig
10-28-2005, 10:44 PM
Slight hijack - It was ultimately a Supreme Court case that put an end to segregation in public transportation, but what of the Montgomery bus system prior to the case? By what I've read, the boycott crippled the system financially. Did they go kicking and screaming until the bitter end, or had they lost enough money that they were reconsidering their policies by the time the SCOTUS handed down the decision?They were reconsidering--in fact, they already had reconsidered and changed their mind. In April 1956, National City Lines, which operated the Montgomery bus system and other Southern city bus lines, announced its intention of desegregating its buses.

However, Jim Crow was a matter of civic and state law, and the city of Montgomery obtained a state court order forbidding NCL to desegregate its own buses. It wasn't until December, when federal courts struck down the state laws on which the state court order was based, that desegregation finally took place and the boycott ended.

Walloon
10-29-2005, 02:59 AM
I'm guessing 80% of the accounts of Rosa Parks' bus protest don't mention that she headed the local chapter of the NAACP. I guess the story works better if she's just everywoman Rosa.

Mahaloth
10-29-2005, 02:19 PM
I'm surprised there is so much confusion about this. I understand if the "man's" name is forgotten, but why is there so much confusion about if it was a man, woman, or group of people?

John Carter of Mars
10-30-2005, 12:50 AM
I'm surprised there is so much confusion about this. I understand if the "man's" name is forgotten, but why is there so much confusion about if it was a man, woman, or group of people?

Well, I wasn't there, but if you want an educated guess:

The white passenger(s) boarding the bus would have had no active part in this. It wasn't like someone pointed at Ms. Parks and said: "I want that seat!"

It would have been the bus driver's responsibility to acquire seat(s) for the white passenger(s) when they entered the bus. The driver probably went to the back of the bus and requested that the seat(s) be vacated. When Ms. Parks refused to move, the issue was between the driver, the police and Ms. Parks.
Any passengers that boarded the bus at that time would have been bystanders in the affair at best. It's very likely that he, she, or they were never identified, even at the time of the incident.

Schnitte
10-30-2005, 08:23 AM
The bus driver was apparently a James Blake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Blake_%28bus_driver%29) who sounds like something of a prick (as one would expect). No idea about the passanger.

It doesn't have anything to do with Ms Parks, but I'd like to report a coincidence I realized after klicking that link, namely that Mr Blake died the day the Titanic sank.

Schnitte
10-30-2005, 08:24 AM
Of course he was _born_ the day the Titanic sank

(OK, she sank in the very early morning hours of April 15, but the collision took place on 14.)

scotandrsn
10-30-2005, 09:44 AM
The notion that Parks was just tired from work and didn't actively attempt to change the status quo was a bit of nonsense I didn't hear until the 1980s, around the same time the Reagan administration was not too keen on making MLK day a federally-recognized holiday.

I only ever heard it in the context of people trying to downplay the event.

Freddy the Pig
10-30-2005, 10:04 AM
The notion that Parks was just tired from work and didn't actively attempt to change the status quo was a bit of nonsense I didn't hear until the 1980's, around the same time the Reagan administration was not too keen on making MLK day a federally-recognized holiday.Nobody ever said that Rosa Parks didn't "actively attempt to change the status quo". Being tired from work and attempting to change the status quo are not mutually exclusive. As for "being tired from work", I heard it when I first learned about the Montgomery bus boycott as a grade school student (early 1970's), and again as a high school student (mid-1970's). I distinctly recall my high school history textbook mentioning that her "corns and bunions ached". It was part of the standard narrative of the event. There was no connection with the Reagan administration or the King holiday.

I only ever heard it in the context of people trying to downplay the event.Neither of the accounts I mentioned above made any effort to downplay the event. At worst they downplayed Rosa Parks' earlier life, which is probably why she chose to de-emphasize "being tired from work" and emphasize her personal history of civil rights resistance when telling the story in her autobiography in 1992. Since that time most accounts of her arrest have followed her lead and told it as more than just an isolated act of defiance by a tired, humble seamstress.

Tibby
10-30-2005, 07:46 PM
The true pre-spin story (sorry, lost the cite) is that she refused to give up her seat to a crippled, pregnant Native American. She was a little tired, but had noble intentions.


:o

Iím sorry. Iím actually a big Rosa Parks fan. Just wanted to lighten things up. I meant no offence. Iíll do penance

John Carter of Mars
10-30-2005, 09:46 PM
Iíll do penance


You are hereby sentenced to ride crowded city buses at least six times a week for the next ten years.

So let it be written, so let it be done. :p

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