|A gracious Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1955|
Rosa Parks was an American civil liberties activist like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was born on January 15 1929. The assassination of King Jr. hit the world and no doubt his colleagues and many were shaken and despondent. He died on April 4 1968. Many people who quote him today do not know that Rosa Parks worked closely with him. Some however know little or nothing about Rosa Parks. Like Rosa Parks, there are so many times women have played their role for the liberation of others.
Very often we do not connect region to region in matters of freedom and in the pursuance of justice. Is this not another form of segregation? Why should we think that for example the struggle against imperial forces, the struggles against racism are not connected? Why would we choose to imagine that some people can be free when others are not? How can men be free if women are oppressed? How is it that your freedom is not part of another's? Can you oppress and be free yourself? Do you have to be one of the oppressed to fight for freedom? Men must be vigorously engaged in gender issues. Here we are not only focusing on women from America. We know many Clotels and Rosa Parks in every continent, in almost every village.
Recently, English PEN magazine, carried her article 'The Pen, my lance' She writes about a dream in which she sees her own decapitation. We are not dealing with light things."In my nightmare the decapitated head was my own, with nothing surrounding it but a desolate landscape. My face was devoid of expression and my yes closed lifelessly. I take deep breaths and hold onto my pen. I need to write for myself, along , in order to exorcise the image. The words of the most recent death threat that I received by e/mail to me: first my hands would be given to my partner, then my head to my father. I phoned my lawyers.... "
©Philo Ikonya and Helmuth A. Niederle