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The African American Collection

The Bus Ride That Paved the Way

The Bus Ride That Paved the Way
Carolyn Crump
c2011
Houston, Texas
Cotton fabric, cotton thread, felt, cotton batting,
ink, markers, pencil, colored pencil, dye, acrylic,
transfer, vinyl, hemp cord
48 3/4” x 42”
MSUM 2012:106.1
Purchased with support from the MSU Foundation and Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Park sat down in an empty seat in the front of the bus, resting her tired feet. In that catalytic moment in the struggle for justice for all of us, did she pray for strength from past trailblazers or envision a future president she would not live to meet? Rosa's words anchor the lower right hand side of the quilt. As she rides deep in thought, a slave quilt hangs in the window behind her. African American leaders from Harriet Tubman and Thurgood Marshall to Michele and Barack Obama bow their heads in honor of her ride. In her autobiography, Rosa Park denies that she was tired on the fateful day. She wrote that she was " just tired of giving in," and that someone had to take the first step in the struggle for justice for all Americans. Rosa Park died in 2005, three years before Barack Obama was elected president of the United States..

-- Carolyn Crump



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