William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 25 Oct 2005 05:49:32 -0400


Area rights leaders, others mourn Parks

By Cathy Mong, Scott Elliott and Steve Bennish
Dayton Daily News

The Miami Valley, the nation and the world lost a standard-bearer for
justice, a soldier for peace and an inspiration for all with the death of
Rosa Parks.

"A great lady has passed. A soldier has passed," said the Rev. Fred
Shuttlesworth, 83, of Cincinnati, who along with the Rev. Martin Luther King
Jr. helped establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.
"She was an inspiration to all womanhood."
Shuttlesworth said he met Mrs. Parks several times in Montgomery, Ala.,
during early civil rights boycotts and demonstrations. "She helped to give
Rev. King the lift in leadership in this country."
He said the country owes a lot to people like Mrs. Parks. "She tried to
teach virtue and encourage young people in the coming generations. Humility
spoke a lot for Rosa Parks. God's way of doing things, of changing things,
is the right way, as hard as it was in a world of segregation."
The Rev. Darryl Ward, pastor Omega Baptist Church, said Mrs. Parks "did a
lot for the nation. She stood up by sitting down and made a difference. She
showed a lot of people how to have courage. I give God thanks for her. You
don't know the kind of impact so many others could have if we would just
take the opportunity to sit or stand when we have the opportunity."
Allen Foster, founder of Young Disciples Inc., a youth mentoring
organization, said "what she stood for was more than life for herself but
for mankind.
"She represented the kind of courage and faith that's missing in us today.
Hopefully her passing will make us reflect on what we can do to better this
world. I think she had an impact on the whole world."
Former teacher and Dayton historian Margaret Peters said she was just
speaking of Mrs. Parks with one of her Sunday School students this week.
"She was asking me where was Martin Luther King Way," Peters said. "I told
her that it was Third Street and that we had a big ceremony when it happened
and that Rosa Parks came. She asked, 'is Rosa Parks still alive?' And I
said, 'Oh, yes.' That was Sunday."
It is unnerving to see so many important civil rights figures passing away,
Peters said.
"Somehow we have to share what those in the past have done so younger people
will see reason to keep doing it," she said.
"In all the pictures of Rosa Parks, she's an old person. Young people don't
remember that at the time she was young and lost her job and had to move to
Detroit. They need to see that these people were vital, that they risked
everything and they were concerned about others.
"We need young people who are willing to take up the struggle because the
struggle continues."