Updated: February 05, 2021 02:41 PM
Created: February 04, 2021 07:26 PM
On December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks made a decision that changed the course of the nation when she refused to give her seat to a white passenger on the bus. On Thursday, busses across the country recognized Parks for that decision by reserving seats in her honor, including in Duluth.
“It was because of her legacy that we can ride the bus and sit in any seat we want to,” Henry Banks, a community leader said.
Banks and others gathered at the Duluth Transit Center on Thursday afternoon to remember Parks. The demonstration fell in line with what would have been Parks’ 108th birthday and what is Transit Equity Day.
“A group of us are going to take a ride on the bus to remember and honor Rosa Parks today," Banks said.
One member of the group was Alan Hudson of Duluth, who was born the year of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
“I was born September 26th, 1955—the year that she refused to get off the front seat of the bus,” Hudson said.
Today, Hudson said he is happy to see a more equitable society, but hopes to see more progress made in the present and future.
“This land is for all of us, not just some of us. The air we breathe is for all of us, not just for some of us,” Hudson said.
Another community member present was John Staine, who grew up riding the DTA from Gary to Lakeside. This is a right he reflected on Thursday.
“It’s obviously a right that we all should have had, but it’s nice to be able to know that I can do that and be comfortable riding the bus thanks to Rosa Parks of course,” Staine said.
Christina and Cian Trok of Duluth were also at Thursday’s demonstration. Christina called Rosa Parks the ‘Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’—adding that it was important for her to come to the demonstration as a mother herself.
“We are trying to as parents instill these same values into our children to be activists and to stand up for things that aren’t right and to be strong about it,” Trok said.
At large, the group hoped to keep Rosa Parks' legacy alive for people today and people tomorrow.
“This is a clear example of not giving up,” Banks said. “I think it teaches children as they grow, they can be whatever they want.”