This first sweeping history of Parks’ life challenges perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement. Theoharis offers a compelling portrait of the working class activist who stared poverty and discrimination squarely in the face and never stopped rebelling against them in both the segregated South and North. Ericka Huggins—former political prisoner, human rights activist, poet and teacher-- who met Parks during her days of Black Panther activism-- joins the discussion.
Jeanne Theoharis is professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She is the author of numerous books and articles on the civil rights and Black Power movements, the politics of race and education, social welfare and civil rights in post-9/11 America. Her newest book is The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.
Ericka Huggins is a former Black Panther Party member, political prisoner, human rights activist, poet and teacher. She has lectured throughout the United States on the restoration of human rights, whole child education, family reunification, restorative justice and, the role of spiritual practice in sustaining activism and promoting social change. She teaches relaxation and resiliency skills for educators and youth in elementary and secondary schools, as well as juvenile and adult prisons and jails and is currently a professor of sociology at Laney College in Oakland, California.
Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. His books include the prize-winning, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression; Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America; Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century, written collaboratively with Dana Frank and Howard Zinn; and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. His most recent book is, Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times.
Main photo credit: Associated Press Photo. "Woman Fingerprinted. Mrs. Rosa Parks, Negro Seamstress, Whose Refusal to Move to the Back of a Bus Touched Off the Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama." 1956. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.
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