New York City, NY – Hon.
Roy Innis, National Chairman of CORE, expressed deep sorrow in the passing
of civil rights hero Mrs. Rosa Parks. He said the organization mourns the
loss of this courageous woman and icon of the civil rights movement. Innis
said Mrs Parks will always be remembered as the spark that re-ignited the
struggle against racism in the mid 50s and launched the career of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. He described Mrs. Parks as the "Mother of
the modern day civil rights movement in America"
When Rosa Parks refused
to move from her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama little did she
know that her actions would become the impetus for a boycott of public
transportation in Montgomery that would last 381 days, involve dozens of
organizations including CORE, win the support of thousands of Blacks and
Whites in Montgomery and reverberate throughout the country and around the
world. This single act of defiance re-energized the civil rights
movement and led to other organized acts of civil disobedience that
eventually struck down the Jim Crow
laws in the south that
for years had effectively legalized racial discrimination.
In January 2003, CORE
presented Mrs. Parks with its highest honor--the Martin Luther King,
Jr. Heroes Award--during its annual celebration of the King Federal
Holiday in New York City. Present at this event were the First Lady of the
United States, Mrs Laura Bush, and Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist.