The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
(Boston: Beacon Press, 2013. Pp. 295. Illustrations.)
by Nancy Kerstetter
When Rosa Parks remained in her seat on that Montgomery bus on December 1, 1955, she had no inkling of the stir it would cause or the effects that would ripple to become a civil rights movement. Neither did she envision that her remains would lie in state in the United States Capitol when she died 50 years later.
Although Caucasian, Theoharis has the unique perspective of having worked side by side with civil rights activist Julian Bond in an academic setting. She credits Bond with inspiring her to tell Parks’ story. Theoharis is currently professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and author of books and articles on historic and contemporary race politics in the U.S. Some of the book’s content was published previously. Unfortunately, material in some of the chapters is quite repetitive leading one to wonder if a more thorough editing of this book was needed.
Theoharis strives to look behind the curtain of the public persona to reveal what made Parks tick. Through countless interviews and hours of research, she unearths lesser known stories, quotes and accounts of Parks’ life. She shares these gems with the reader. Continue reading…