Empty Bus Seats Honor Rosa Parks

On December 1, 1955, a black seamstress named Rosa Parks got on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and refused to move when the bus driver told her to give up her seat to a white man.
Her act of quiet defiance prompted African Americans throughout Montgomery to boycott the city buses for more than a year. Eventually it led to a Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public transportation.
Sixty-four years later, the Black Lives Matter movement and conversations about white privilege throughout many communities are bringing to the fore the pervasive wound of racial inequality that the United States has still not fully confronted.
But sometimes a symbolic act of reparation shows that things can change. For the second year in a row, the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin remembered Rosa Parks by reserving one empty seat on each of its buses in her honor. On each seat lay a red rose and a placard with Parks’s and the story of her resistance.

Trebbe Johnson
Trebbe JohnsonFounder
Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. Her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty, will be published in Fall 2018 by North Atlantic Books. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

Image Credit:

  • Rosa Parks Bus Seat: Milwaukee County Transit System

MORE RADICAL JOY REVEALED

  • CEDAR GROVE27 T1170

She addresses the cedar…

One simple and meaningful way to find and make beauty for a place—and actually to do both at the same time—is to praise it. Praising a clearcut forest, a littered beach, a raccoon killed by a [...]

  • Simeon 2019

Ceremony Replaces Shyness

It's not uncommon that people feel a little bit shy and awkward when they do their first—or even their second or third—Global Earth Exchange. There is little precedent, after all, for going out to a [...]

More Revealed

SUBSCRIBE

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places.

2019-12-23T07:28:52-08:00
This website uses cookies and third party services. See our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information. Settings Ok

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to track your path through our website. To assist in protecting your privacy, we anonymize the last 4 of the IP address.

Tracking Cookies

To monitor and help enhance your visit while on the website.

Host Accounts

We offer a individuals private member access as Hosts when they register. We offer Host newsletters and the ability to manage Earth Exchange Events & Stories that Hosts will author and help manage. We ask for basic information from Hosts to join. We additionally ask the Host to provide detailed information about their events and preparations. This includes images and narratives about their event and any Stories told about the Exchange Events hosted.