Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Rosa Parks Dies at 92
by Bob Roehr

This article shared 4723 times since Thu Dec 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

by Bob Roehr

Rosa Parks, whose act of civil disobedience in 1955 inspired the modern civil rights movement, died Oct. 24 in Detroit, Mich., according to the Associated Press. She was 92.

Parks's moment in history began in Dec. 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Ala. Her arrest led to a 381-day boycott of the bus system by Blacks that was organized by a 26-year-old Baptist minister named Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Later, a court ruled for desegregation of public transportation in Montgomery; however, it was not until the 1964 Civil Rights Act that all public accommodations nationwide were desegregated.

Even into her 80s, she was active on the lecture circuit, CNN reported. Parks spoke at civil rights groups and received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999. In recent years, she made news by filing a lawsuit against rap duo OutKast, who recorded a song named after the activist. ( The parties settled in April 2005, according to an item in The Detroit News. )

Saying goodbye

Underscoring Parks's importance and influence, the nation took several days to bid the civil-rights icon farewell.

Hundreds of people slowly filed past the body of civil rights icon Rosa Parks on Oct. 29 at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Montgomery, Ala., The Detroit Free Press reported. The event took place just miles from the downtown street where she made history.

The following day, Parks became the first woman—and the second African-American—to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. More than 30,000 Americans filed silently by her casket in the and a military honor guard saluted the woman, CNN reported. Positioned under a spotlight, Parks's casket stood in the center of a Rotunda that includes a bronze bust of King. By lying in the historic building, Parks shared an honor tribute bestowed upon Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and other national leaders. The Houston Chronicle reported that President George Bush ( who presented a wreath but did not speak ) and congressional leaders gathered for a brief ceremony, listening as members of Baltimore's Morgan State University choir sang 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic.'

On Nov. 2, thousands of mourners packed a Detroit church for an emotional final goodbye that took seven hours. About 4,000 people crowded the Greater Grace Temple, and another 1,000 people sat in an overflow room of the church, according to CNN. Hundreds more lined up outside the building. Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.; Rev. Al Sharpton; Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; and singer Aretha Franklin were just a few of the luminaries who attended. Just before the casket was closed around noon, the audience sang 'We Shall Overcome,' the civil rights movement's anthem. Bush had ordered the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff on that day in remembrance of Parks.

Memorial services took place across the country, from Los Angeles to New York City. Locally, various people also noted the importance of Parks in history. On Oct. 30 at Beloved Community Church on Chicago's South Side, several prominent residents spoke out about the civil-rights leader, according to CBS 2 Chicago. Congressman Bobby Rush, D-Chicago, told the congregation that she 'was a heroine that history could not deny' while the Rev. Willie Barrow said that Parks 'embodied the courage that is indeed so important to the world in which we live.'

'Extraordinary courage'

Not surprisingly, sentiments poured in for Rosa Parks following her death. Obama, in an official statement from his office, called Parks 'a genuine American hero' and added that because of her fearlessness 'she helped lay the foundation for a country that could begin to live up to its creed.'

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said that ' [ w ] hen Rosa Parks refused to give her seat up to a white man on December 1, 1955, she demonstrated extraordinary courage in the face of daily mistreatment and systemic injustice experienced by African-American men, women and children, not just in Alabama but all across the country.' The organization also stated that her 'legacy will live on for generations...'

In addition, the National Stonewall Democrats Black Caucus issued a release declaring that Parks's life 'cannot be summed up in one statement. [ Oct. 24 ] is a sad day for Black America, America and the world.' C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, stated that the United States 'has lost an important civil rights leader whose work strove for the equality of all Americans. Ms. Parks's historic act of defiance and her subsequent social justice work has been an inspiration to everyone in the civil rights community.' Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese commented that 'Parks didn't stop on the bus, but kept going, working throughout her life to make the world a better place. With her passing, a true legend is lost but an inspiring imprint will always remain.'

T.J. Williams, a gay gospel singer, praised Parks but added that racial and sexual minorities should continue the fight she initiated. He told Windy City Times that 'every African American and every gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning person in this era should take [ Parks's ] legacy as [ an impetus ] to continue marching and praying until justice rains down for all. We should remember that Rosa called everyone who believes in justice to stand together. Her legacy signaled for unification.'

Parks could make history again. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-2nd, and former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., have introduced bills that would erect a statue to Parks in the Capitol's Statuary Hall, according to The Chicago Defender. If passed, it would be the first statue of an African American. Jackson said 'Rosa was more than the 'mother of the civil rights movement.' Her dignified leadership inspired others to engage in courageous acts.' His bill, H.R. 4145, was introduced Oct. 26. Kerry has introduced a similar bill to memorialize Parks.

This article shared 4723 times since Thu Dec 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Oklahoma non-binary student dies after being assaulted
Officials acknowledged there are unresolved questions about a 16-year-old non-binary Oklahoma student who died one day after a fight in a high school bathroom, NBC News noted. Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, ...

Gay News

Dr. Lady J explains how opera can be a drag
On Feb. 8, Center on Halsted, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, presented a lecture by historian, drag activist, podcaster and curator Dr. Lady J. The event, titled "Castrated Superstars, Cross Dressed Divas, and Queer ...

Gay News

GLAAD remembers Cecilia Gentili, transgender Latina, actress, activist, health care activist, journalist
--From a press release - (New York, NY - February 6, 2024) GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to the death of transgender actress and advocate Cecilia Gentili and elevating voices of transgender and political leaders honoring ...

Gay News

More information emerges about death on Atlantis gay cruise
By Lu Calzada - Further details have emerged following the death of a Chicago man on a Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas Atlantis cruise targeted towards gay men. Following a Reddit post by the man's sister — which has ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Imperial Court's Scott Archer remembered as selfless, devoted
By Alec Karam - As the old saying goes, we all have an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other. Well, Scott Archer was all angel, his best friend Herman Coen believes. "Everybody wanted to talk to Scott, because Scott was Scott," ...

Gay News

Broadway star Chita Rivera dies at 91
Chita Rivera—a Broadway legend with more than seven decades of credits—has died at age 91 after a short illness, People Magazine reported. "It is with immense personal sorrow that I announce the death of the beloved ...

Gay News

WORLD Conversion therapy, trans Haitian advocate, intersex report, activist attacked
Norway is the latest country to outlaw conversion therapy after its parliament passed a bill that criminalizes the practice, Mamba noted. The bill, under development since 2019, received approval in the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) last ...

Gay News

WORLD Activist honored, marriages in Estonia, Madrid law, trans sports item
Video below - The National AIDS Commission (NAC) recently honored Caleb Orozco—a leading figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Belize—for his instrumental contributions to the national HIV response, BNN reported. According ...

Gay News

PASSSAGES Chef Michael Thomas Zito
Chef Michael Thomas Zito, 55, ("Chef Bear Italia" and "Big Chef") passed away December 12, 2023, unexpectedly at home in Chicago's Belmont Gardens neighborhood. Born in Kentucky to Pentecostal missionaries from New York, Mike began cooking ...

Gay News

Gay political trailblazer Ken Sherrill passes away at age 81
Kenneth Sherrill—a pioneering political scientist who was also the first out gay elected official in New York history—died in early December at age 81 from surgical complications, Gay City News reported. He is survived by his ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Paris Johnson
Paris Johnson, 29, of Chicago's West Loop neighborhood, passed away unexpectedly Nov. 28. He would have celebrated his 30th birthday Dec. 20. Born into a military family in Sacramento, California, Paris moved often in his youth, ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Frankie Franklin-Foxx
Frankie Franklin-Foxx (born Waverlynn Franklin), a resident of Chicago's North Side, passed away peacefully Dec. 13 at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. She was 68. Born at Cook County Hospital, Frankie graduated from South Shore High ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Former Republican Illinois legislator Susan Catania remembered for supporting gay rights
Advocates remember former Illinois legislator Susan Catania as an active ally in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Susan died Nov. 27 after a fire broke out in her home in Wisconsin, according to a tribute written ...

Gay News

Angelica Ross talks politics, Hollywood, Buddhism and more
Angelica Ross had already made her imprint on society in various ways. She is the founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, which helps transgender and gender-nonconforming people become part of the tech industry; an activist who hosted ...

Gay News

WORLD Queer teen dies, trans activist honored, HIV drugs, mpox, British lesbian
In India, queer makeup artist Pranshu reportedly died by suicide—at age 16—after being subjected to relentless attacks online, PinkNews noted. On social media, LGBTQIA+-rights advocacy collective Yes, We Exist claimed ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.