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Thursday, 24 October 2019


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 
CV of published material available on request. & @JoeCushnan

Rosa Parks

The story goes …..

….. that Rosa Parks summed up a significant moment 
in history with these humble words:
“I didn’t get on the bus to get arrested. 
I got on the bus to get home.” 
Montgomery, Alabama, 1955.
She was not the first to ignore a driver 
in this whites-trump-coloureds era
before Elvis’s rock and roll, 
when a white boy sang like a black man 
and changed the world overnight.
The shockwaves of a woman, 
a black woman, 
sitting stubbornly in that seat on that bus 
took a little longer to shake and rattle the pedestals 
of the self-appointed white righteous. 
Arrested for “refusing to obey order of bus driver”,
nationality defined as “negro”, 
complexion “black”, 
build “medium”, mug shot “7053”,
this bespectacled 42-year-old, 
five-foot three citizen became an icon of resistance, 
a living symbol
underlining the right in civil rights, 
later awarded medals and remembered on Rosa Parks Day.
But long before the accolades, 
the significant moment. 1955. America. 
When everything really was

black and white.

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