Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation

Overview

On June 15, 1999, Mrs. Rosa Parks was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor — a tribute to the power of one solitary woman to influence the soul of a nation. But awards and influence were far from her mind when, on December 1, 1955, she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was not trying to start a movement. She was simply tired of social injustice and did not think a woman should be forced to stand so that a man could sit down. Yet her simple act of courage set in motion a ...

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Overview

On June 15, 1999, Mrs. Rosa Parks was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor — a tribute to the power of one solitary woman to influence the soul of a nation. But awards and influence were far from her mind when, on December 1, 1955, she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was not trying to start a movement. She was simply tired of social injustice and did not think a woman should be forced to stand so that a man could sit down. Yet her simple act of courage set in motion a chain of events that changed forever the landscape of American race relations. Quiet Strength celebrates the principles and convictions that have guided her through a remarkable life. It is a printed record of her legacy — her lasting message to a world still struggling to live in harmony.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks became the "mother of the modern civil rights movement" when she refused to surrender her seat to a white man on a segregated Montgomery, AL., bus. Quiet Strength reveals Rosa Park's insights, dreams, and reflections on a variety of themes--her Christian faith, race relations, today's youth, her vision for the future, and much more. Photos.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310235873
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 6.54 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Rosa Parks was co-founder of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development and is recognized as the 'mother of the modern-day civil rights movement.'

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Fear

Yea, though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.

--Psalm 23: 4

As a child, I learned from the Bible to trust in God and not be afraid. I have always felt comforted by reading the Psalms, especially Psalms 23 and 27.

My grandfather also influenced me to not be afraid. A very proud man, he was never fearful--especially when it came to defending his home and family. Back in those days, fear was something very real for black people. There was so much hatred toward blacks--especially from white supremacy groups, like the Ku Klux Klan.

I remember one day when the KKK came near our house after many incidents of hate crimes against nearby blacks. My grandfather never seemed afraid. At night he would sit with his shotgun and say that he did not know how long he would last, but if they came breaking in our house, he was going to get the first one who came through the door. He never looked for trouble, but he believed in defending his home.

I saw and heard so much as a child growing up with hate and injustice against black people. I learned to put my trust in God and to seek Him as my strength. Long ago I set my mind to be a free person and not to give in to fear. I always felt that it was my right to defend myself if I could.

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. When I sat down on the bus the day I was arrested, I was thinking of going home. I had made up my mind quickly about what it was that I had to do, what I felt was right to do. I did not think of being physically tired or fearful. After so many years of oppression and being a victim of the mistreatment that my people had suffered, not giving up my seat--and whatever I had to face after not giving it up--was not important. I did not feel any fear at sitting in the seat I was sitting in. All I felt was tired. Tired of being pushed around. Tired of seeing the bad treatment and disrespect of children, women, and men just because of the color of their skin. Tired of the Jim Crow laws. Tired of being oppressed. I was just plain tired.

I felt the Lord would give me the strength to endure whatever I had to face. God did away with all my fear. It was time for someone to stand up--or in my case, sit down. I refused to move.

We blacks are not as fearful or divided as people may think. I cannot let myself be so afraid that I am unable to move around freely and express myself. If I do, then I am undoing the gains we have made in the civil rights movement. Love, not fear, must be our guide.

In these days, many people are feeling a different type of fear that is hard to break free of. There are so many new things to be afraid of that were not as common in the earlier days. We should not let fear overcome us. We must remain strong. Violence and crime seem so much more prevalent. It is easy to say that we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Many of our children are going astray. But I still remain hopeful.

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Table of Contents

About Rosa Parks 11
Fear 15
Defiance 19
Injustice 29
Pain 35
Character 41
Role Models 45
Faith 53
Values 63
Quiet Strength 69
Determination 73
Youth 79
The Future 85
Rosa Parks: A Chronology 91
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First Chapter

Chapter 1
Fear Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.
—Psalm 23:4
As a child, I learned from the Bible to trust in God and not be afraid. I have always felt comforted by reading the Psalms, especially Psalms 23 and 27.
My grandfather also influenced me to not be afraid. A very proud man, he was never fearful—especially when it came to defending his home and family. Back in those days, fear was something very real for black people. There was so much hatred toward blacks—especially from white supremacy groups, like the Ku Klux Klan.
I remember one day when the KKK came near our house after many incidents of hate crimes against nearby blacks. My grandfather never seemed afraid. At night he would sit with his shotgun and say that he did not know how long he would last, but if they came breaking in our house, he was going to get the first one who came through the door. He never looked for trouble, but he believed in defending his home.
I saw and heard so much as a child growing up with hate and injustice against black people. I learned to put my trust in God and to seek Him as my strength. Long ago I set my mind to be a free person and not to give in to fear. I always felt that it was my right to defend myself if I could.
I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. When I sat down on the bus the day I was arrested, I was thinking of going home. I had made up my mind quickly about what it was that I had to do, what I felt was right to do. I did not think of being physically tired or fearful. After so many years of oppression and being a victim of the mistreatment that my people had suffered, not giving up my seat—and whatever I had to face after not giving it up—was not important. I did not feel any fear at sitting in the seat I was sitting in. All I felt was tired. Tired of being pushed around. Tired of seeing the bad treatment and disrespect of children, women, and men just because of the color of their skin. Tired of the Jim Crow laws. Tired of being oppressed. I was just plain tired.
I felt the Lord would give me the strength to endure whatever I had to face. God did away with all my fear. It was time for someone to stand up—or in my case, sit down. I refused to move.
We blacks are not as fearful or divided as people may think. I cannot let myself be so afraid that I am unable to move around freely and express myself. If I do, then I am undoing the gains we have made in the civil rights movement. Love, not fear, must be our guide.
In these days, many people are feeling a different type of fear that is hard to break free of. There are so many new things to be afraid of that were not as common in the earlier days. We should not let fear overcome us. We must remain strong. Violence and crime seem so much more prevalent. It is easy to say that we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Many of our children are going astray. But I still remain hopeful.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 20, 2008

    A day with Parks

    EE Miller says, "Some things are worth repeating." Parks repeats herself in Quiet Strength. However, it's not redundant. It's more about personality and convictions. The Bible, psalms, hymns---all of these---were important to Parks, and repeatedly she says so. <BR/>Quiet Strength, to me, was more of a setting the record straight after having responded with silence to questions about her strength. And she made it clear, (as she probably has a million times to those who have listened) that her strength is from the Lord. For example, Parks stated, "I felt the Lord would give me the strength to endure whatever I had to face. God did away with all my fear. It was time for someone to stand up---or in my case, sit down. I refused to move. It is funny to me how people came to believe that the reason that I did not move from my seat was that my feet were tired. My feet were not tired, but I was tired--tired of unfair treatment."<BR/>Again, Parks, in her quiet strength way, Parks provides correction when she said, "I was not the only person involved. I was just one of the many who fought for freedom." <BR/>Quiet Strength---in a world of vociferous boasting----is a position/posture/idea worthy of a seat and a spell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    Rosa Parks good job with all of your books and good job for standing up for what you think is right I give you a two thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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