On the Bus with Rosa Parks

By Rita Dove

Added May 3, 2015

In On the Bus with Rosa Parks, Rita Dove explores the intersection of individual fates and the grand arc of history. The book culminates in “On the Bus with Rosa Parks,” a series which brings the reader right into the heart of the civil rights struggle. Here are unintentional heroes, who, with simple acts of courage, change the course of history—people like Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith who violated city public transportation segregation laws by refusing to give their seats to white passengers, and of course, Rosa Parks, whose legacy for her historic refusal to move to the back of the bus defines the spirit of the struggle. In these poems, Dove shows how we are all on that bus with Rosa Parks. Ordinary people with dreams for the future, with a desire for respect, with no need for celebrity but a willingness to do what needs to be done. This is how all of us, heroes or not, must reinvent ourselves each morning. Visit Rita Dove's website. Book jacket image and book description courtesy W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Used with permission.

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