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Rosa Parks, In Her Own Words: A Short Documentary


Rosa Parks was one of the major figures of the American 20th Century, which the Library’s new exhibit demonstrates. But she’s really not the “quiet seamstress” of popular myth. From childhood, when she sat up nights with her shotgun-toting grandfather who was ready to defend his family from KKK attackers, she was an intense, committed activist with a deep sense of social justice.

In this six-minute documentary, Condoleezza Rice, Bryan Stevenson, Ken Burns, Jacqueline Woodson, Sharon Robinson and Parks biographer Jeanne Theoharis read from her private writings and talk of the woman behind the icon. As Burns says, “It’s imporant that we liberate Rosa Parks, and liberate ourselves, from the tyranny of superficial history.”

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