I was born 50 years after slavery, in 1913. I was allowed to read. My mother, who was a teacher, taught me when I was a very young child. The first school I attended was a small building that went from first to sixth grade. There was one teacher for all of the students. There could be anywhere from 50 to 60 students of all different ages.
The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.
Men weren’t really the enemy – they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.
People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
We need to see men and women as equal partners, but it’s hard to think of movies that do that. When I talk to people, they think of movies of forty-five years ago! Hepburn and Tracy!
At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.
I was at a meeting two years ago in Beijing, and I passed a bunch of women who were marching in a protest. Their signs were probably saying something I wouldn’t have agreed with at all. But I was so glad to see women marching. And it’s happening all over the world.
Let us look at Jim Crow for the criminal he is and what he has done to one life multiplied millions of times over these United States and the world. He walks us on a tightrope from birth.
You spend your whole lifetime in your occupation, actually making life clever, easy and convenient for white people. But when you have to get transportation home, you are denied an equal accommodation. Our existence was for the white man’s comfort and well-being; we had to accept being deprived of just being human.
Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.