A Rose for Rosa Parks: 3 lessons in dignity and self-confidence for young Black queens

Rosa Parks after being arrested for refusing to leave her seat -- Photo: Universal History Archive

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” – An excerpt from Rosa Parks’ Autobiography.

Rosa Parks, the dignified Black Queen and seamstress employed the powers of her royal resolve to help stitch the tear in the fabric of justice and civil reverence for all beings irrespective of race, color, creed, belief, socio-economic status and academic laurels by taking her ‘rightful’ place on the seat of a bus in 1955; a singular act of civil disobedience that ended the inhumane Bus Segregation Laws and earned her a respectable place in the annals of history. It is noteworthy to mention that she was a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal; the highest award the United States of America confers on a civilian.

The place of the young Black Queen in our society is not one accorded the perquisite reverence natural to it. The young Black Queen is; a primordial mother, a nurturer of worlds and a mystery from whose bosom hails generations. She has remained a target of dishonour by the hands of some self-serving individuals, but those hands wield not the power to reduce the glories and potency of her femininity as demonstrated by Rosa Parks. Her rebellion sends vibrations of insight and practical wisdom for the young Black Queen; lessons in dignity and self-confidence…

To begin with, the young Black Queen must know Self. The whole philosophy of knowing Self entails an awareness of one’s singularity in time and space and coming to terms with the fact that the presence of one’s singular Self on Earth and in society is needed and of dire importance. The young Black Queen must accept with an unflinching tenacity that she belongs here, there, wherever she may find her precious Self she must be rooted in the knowledge that she holds a place in time and space by mere virtue of her birth; a pedigree that can neither be conferred on her or stripped off her by any man or man-made laws. In knowing Self, she will further augment her ability to make and implement productive choices for her advancement and all she holds true and dear. In knowing Self, she will be secured enough to not give up her rightful seat.

Also, the young Black Queen must stand her grounds, no matter what. The miseries and disappointments that we tend to be faced with for the most part stem from our inability to hold fast unto our tenets, whatever they may be. Of the dreams, hopes, aspirations and ambitions teeming in the choices we make for ourselves, they are best known to us because they come from us and they will make the best of us if we will but use them as the centre from which all other external cues seeking a place within us are vetted and moderated.

A Rose for Rosa Parks: 3 lessons in dignity and self-confidence for young Black queens
An undated photo of Rosa Parks in a bus – UIA

We, however, find ourselves giving in to pressures from without thereby losing our grounding. The young Black Queen must pull out a calm confident ‘no’ if it will be in her best interest to do so, and harbour neither regrets nor misgivings for it. The young Black Queen must at all times keep in an awareness that she is foremost responsible for and to herself before anyone else. For even if the needs of our loved ones and society as a whole come into question, we still can only give unto others who we are, but not so much of what we have as the former weighs more value. So at all times the young Black Queen must plant her best foot forward.

To add, the young Black Queen must act. For a society that is still steeped in the segregation of people of Melanin from all things simple and free, and one that is further committed to nurturing a docile mediocrity in the feminine, it is of the highest ideal that the young Black Queen is inspired by her community of loved ones to act on her informed plans and ambitions. Our hunter-gatherer instincts deeply etched within our reptilian brain tend to interfere with the upward trajectory of women of colour and women in general on the social ladder. But all persons have something stored in their uniqueness to bring to Life’s festive table. The young Black Queen must therefore be fed with a counter-narrative concerning her unquestionable and warranted ability to succeed in life and to win at life for as long as she will act, and persist in her act.

Indeed, Rosa’s rose is well earned, for her unwavering courage and tenacity has spelt growth and strength on the tablets of time itself such that all who will look up to her will find in themselves a replica of her unquestionable greatness.

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: June 5, 2020


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