Our Auntie Rosa-how her family remembers Rosa McCauley Parks

She travelled all over the world meeting with world leaders, including the Pope. The U.S. Capitol Building’s Statuary Hall holds a statue of her. The Postal Service issued a stamp with her likeness. Grand Rapids Michigan named a park after her. But to her large, loving family, she was simply Our Auntie Rosa.

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned abut freedom. sculpted relief of a bus

Our Auntie Rosa: The Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons

by Sheila McCauley Keys with Eddie B. Allen, Jr.

Published January 2015, Our Auntie Rosa offers a personal, intimate, revealing glimpse of a woman who made history for “standing up” for justice and equality by sitting down.

The act of declining to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, simply because she was Black, on December 1, 1955 is a snippet of her life’s work. Even prior to that day she had been quietly working in the civil rights movement, and never stopped, continuing to speak and exemplify courage, faith, and acceptance for all people until she died in 2005.

In this book, her family- neices and nephews, the children and grandchildren of her only sibling- share the moments she spent with them, as a group and individually, encounters that they remember fondly after many years. Without their willingness to be transparent, the world would not know the true depth of spirit of the woman known as “the mother of the civil rights movement.”

She attended their childhood birthday parties, weddings, baby showers, and graduations. She encouraged their education and vocational pursuits, and counselled their marriages. She was the “show and tell” for a great-nephew’s elementary class.

She travelled all over the world meeting with world leaders, including the Pope. The U.S. Capitol Building’s Statuary Hall holds a statue of her. The Postal Service issued a stamp with her likeness. Grand Rapids Michigan named a park after her, where I took this photos.

But to her large, loving family, she was simply

Our Auntie Rosa.

When the history of this country is written, when a final accounting is done, it is a small quiet woman whose name will be remembered long after the names of senators and presidents have been forgotten.

then Senator Barack Obama at the dedication of her statue in the US Capitol building. 
a bronze statue of Rosa Parks
statue of Rosa Parks at the Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids Michigan, photo by Dr. Aletha

Some excerpts from the book

Having been raised on a southern diet, one of her favorite dishes, calves brains with scrambled eggs, she became much more health-conscious late in life at an age when many of her peers were so set in their habits that not even a doctors warning might have convinced them to change. We would go to the Cass Corridor food co-op together and share ideas about nutrition.

by Asheber, nephew.

Each person must live their life as a model for others. a sculpture relief of a bus, with people standing to board.

listen to an excerpt

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned abut freedom. sculpted relief of a bus
.

Well into her senior years she has only recently begun practicing yoga. Splendid silver hair gives her away as the oldest student in most of the classes she occasionally attends with family but she doesn’t care. She’s reached a point when she considers herself a student of life.

Eventually, she learns the movements well enough to practice alone in her home. The exercises help clear her mind, the stretches keep her body limber. She takes sanctuary, be it at a studio under the voice of an instructor or in the sunlight of her living room. Inner peace and clarity have always been important to her.  

by Sheila, neice

statue of Rosa Parks, Grand Rapids Michigan

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exploring the HEART of families

I hope you will get and read this charming book by people who expressed their love and admiration for a woman most of us only know from history books. She may remind you of a special relative or friend you may want to call or write to tell how much they meant to you. Do it soon, they won’t be with you forever.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

an open book with pages folded to make a heart

Dr Aletha

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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