Rosa Parks in Black History Live Tour – Paonia

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Black History Live tour is an annual recognition each February of the significant contributions African Americans have made and continue to make to art, culture, economic development, education, human rights, medicine, public services, politics, and sports. This year’s statewide tour will feature the living-history portrayals of Rosa Parks by nationally acclaimed scholar/actor Becky Stone, and Martin Luther King, Jr. by scholar/actor Marvin Jefferson.

Thank you to our partner Blue Sage Center for the Arts.

Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

Rosa Parks, even as a child, challenged Jim Crow. She understood herself to be a child of God. That knowledge fueled her sense of civil rights and personal dignity. She seemed fearless. After all, she had witnessed her grandfather taking an armed stand against the Ku Klux Klan. She dared to throw bricks at white boys taunting her brother. She stood up to angry white mothers. All of which led her grandmother to exclaim, “Rosa Louise MacCauley! You’re going to be lynched before you get out of high school!”

As Parks grew into womanhood, her fears about lynching increased; however, her commitment to changing America also increased. She married a man already involved in raising money for the defense of the Scottsboro boys, and she became the secretary of the Montgomery Chapter of the NAACP, a job that involved recording incidents of civil rights abuses and police brutality, as well as writing protest letters to legislators and newspapers. Parks challenged segregation at every turn, with only partial success, until the day she took action to defend her personal rights and suddenly galvanized the Black people of Montgomery to take a stand together. Change in America was on the way with the Montgomery Bus Boycott – the only protest of its size, length, and impact in the history of the United States. Hear Parks talk about how and why it happened.

About Becky Stone

Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Ms. Stone became a storyteller upon moving south. She holds a B.A. in Drama from Vassar College and an M.A. from Villanova University in Elementary Educational Counseling. Her acting credits include Lime Kiln Arts Theater, VA; Warehouse Theatre, Greenville SC; Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater, Asheville Community Theatre, Highland Repertory Theatre, Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater in Asheville and Merida, Mexico, and Asheville on Broadway. Ms. Stone has also presented at North Carolina and Colorado Humanities Chautauqua festivals and Black History Live tours as Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, and Josephine Baker.

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