Remembering Rosa Concert Tonight Hosted by Music City
On Thursday, December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and set off the famous Montgomery Bus boycott. This year, on Thursday, December 1st, Orange choirs and choruses will join to sing for peace in the city. Join us at 6 PM, Rosa Parks Community School, 369 Main Street, Orange, NJ.
The concert for peace is the inaugural Music City event. Music City aims to bring together and celebrate Orange’s incredible diversity of musical communities. It is a project of the University of Orange’s music department with support from the Healthy Orange Coalition.
Baritone Section of the Orange High School Mighty Marching Tornadoes Marching Band
led by Dr. Steven Reeves
Rachel Bland, Director of Healthy Orange Coalition
Opening remarks: Remembering Rosa
St. Matthew AME Church Gospel Chorus
led by Juanda Boxley
“I Need You To Survive” by Hezekiah Walker
Voices in Harmony (Orange High School)
led by David Milnes
“Home Foundation” by “Up With People”
Dr. Margaux Simmons (head of University of Orange music department)
reading “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (1-3)” by Joy Harjo (Muskoke/Creek)
Sonic Explorations Chorus (Oakwood Avenue Community School)
led by Queen Mother Imakhu
“Di-ni Mer ih Shaasha (I Give Love & Respect)” by Queen Mother Imakhu and students of Sonic Explorations
Special Message from the University of Orange
by Dr. Margaux Simmons and Douglas Farrand.
Queen Mother Imakhu
“The People Could Fly”, African-American Folktale
Rosa Parks Community School Chorus
led by Mariel Johnson
Jamy Lasell (University of Orange), harmonica
“Amazing Grace”, hymn
The Ebenezer Baptist Church Inspirational Choir
led by Winston Nelson
”He Reigns Forever”, “The Sun Is Gonna Shine”, “None But The Righteous”
reading “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (4-5)”
CEREMONIAL FOR PEACE for flutes, voice, and percussion – composed by Margaux Simmons with texts by Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa, Oglala Lakota) and Joy Harjo’s “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (6)”
Queen Mother Imakhu, leading all of us in a rendition of:
“This Little Light of Mine”, spiritual by Harry Dixon Loes
Read 10 Facts Might Not Know about Rosa Parks via History.Com
- Parks was not the first African-American woman to be arrested for refusing to yield her seat on a Montgomery bus. She was amongst four other African-American women who refused to give their bus seat to a white passenger
- Parks was a civil rights activist before her arrest. She was a member of the NAACP and continued activism throughout her life.
- Parks had a prior encounter with James Blake, the bus driver who demanded she vacates her seat. He had history of antagonizing African-American passengers and planned to never ride if he was driving.
- Her act of civil disobedience was not pre-meditated. She did not set out to be arrested that day, and ultimately the face of the movement. If she had known Blake was driving he was would not have gotten on the bus. She notes in her autobiography.
- Parks was not sitting in a whites-only section. The white only section filled and she was told to move out of a black designated seat. She refused.
- Parks did not refuse to leave her seat because her feet were tired.
In her autobiography, Parks set the record straight, that she refused to vacate her seat because she was tired after a long day at work. “I was not tired physically,” she wrote, “or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
- Weeks after her arrest, Parks was jailed a second time for her role in the boycott. She and 114 others were arrested for the protest.
- Parks was forced to move from Montgomery soon after the boycott. She lost her job and was receiving death threats. in 1957, she and her husband moved to Detroit, Michigan where she worked as an administrative aide for Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
- Parks was the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.
After Parks died at age 92 on October 24, 2005, she received a final tribute usually reserved for statesman and military leaders when her body was brought to the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. More than 30,000 people filed past her coffin to pay their respects.
- Bus seats were left empty to honor Parks on the 50th anniversary of her arrest.
On December 1, 2005, transit authorities in New York City, Washington, D.C. and other American cities symbolically left the seats behind bus drivers empty to commemorate Parks’ act of civil disobedience.
See you all later! The show starts at 6pm! Rosa Parks Community School, 369 Main Street, Orange, New Jersey 07050.
Special thanks to Doug Farrand, Margeaux, Aubrey, Music City, University of Orange and more!