Exhibit documents ongoing civil rights journey
Monday, February 16, 2009
By Chris Green
Posted Feb 16, 2009 @ 07:32 PM
ROCKFORD — When a 42-year-old seamstress paid her bus fare and took her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., city bus, she was merely trying to go home after a day of work.
When she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, and was subsequently arrested and fined, her work and the work of a nation to end segregation in America had officially begun.
Rosa Parks may have been ordered off that bus on Dec. 1, 1955, but she and hundreds of thousands of others hopped on another. That bus was driven by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr..
Over the past 53 years, the bus drivers and passengers have changed, but the destination to equality has remained the same. The latest, but certainly not the last bus stop, is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, where the nation’s first black president and his family reside.
In recognition of Black History Month, a wall-mounted display of photographs documenting the ongoing journey of the civil rights movement is on display in Rockford College’s Burpee Center.
Clusters of matted and mostly black-and-white magazine articles and pictures and newspaper clippings starting with Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, to the Freedom Riders, to the March on Washington, to King’s Nobel Peace Prize, to Selma, Ala.’s Bloody Sunday, to the April 4, 1968, death of King and to the birth and presidency of Barack Obama, are all on display.
The walk-through exhibit will remain posted for at least the rest of the month and perhaps longer as notable black musicians and scientists are added, said Michelle Griggs, director of Rockford College’s Kobe-Regents Center for Global Education.
The event is free and open to the public during normal school hours.