SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis), chair of the Assembly Aging and Long Term Care Committee, and Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Culver City), chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, presented House Resolution 5 on Feb. 4 to honor Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday.
“Rosa Parks is my personal civil rights hero,” said Yamada. “She raised neither a gun nor her voice, yet ignited the 20th century civil rights movement through her courageous act of peaceful defiance. As we begin statewide observances of Black History Month, I am honored to join Assemblymember Holly Mitchell in commemorating the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks.”
Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955 for refusing to surrender her seat on a bus to a white passenger. Her arrest launched the Montgomery bus boycott involving over 40,000 African Americans, which ended legal segregation in public transportation and inspired ordinary citizens throughout the world.
Parks was born on Feb. 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Ala. In recognition of her civil disobedience and lifelong activism for racial equality, she is celebrated as the “Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement.”
“She knew that she was stepping into harm’s way,” Mitchell said. “I think it’s important to remember that it wasn’t an act out of impulse; it was an act out of strategy and a commitment to long-term change in this country.”
Parks’ quiet example has impacted many groups in the quest for social justice, evidenced by representatives of the Women’s, LGBT, Asian Pacific Islander and Latino legislative caucuses joining Yamada and Mitchell in the Assembly commemoration.
California designated Feb. 4 as Rosa Parks Day beginning in 2000.