At exactly noon today, Wednesday, November 2, BART paid tribute to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks by making a system-wide announcement asking all passengers and employees to observe a moment of silence.
Ms. Parks, who died at the age of 92 on October 24, was a catalyst to the civil rights movement and will forever be linked to public transportation.
Â“Rosa Parks' simple act of defiance and courage of refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955 helped pave the way for the freedoms that Americans of all races enjoy today,Â” said BART Board Vice President Carole Ward Allen.
The arrest of Ms. Parks for defying segregation laws triggered a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system, led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that segregation on city buses was unconstitutional. That ruling came more than 75 years after another civil rights pioneer and journalist Ida B. Wells, refused to move to a Â“colored carÂ” on a Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad train.
At noon today, the following announcement was made over every loud speaker on BART trains and displayed on every digital message sign:
Â“Attention BART passengers and BART employees. It is 12 noon. And for the next 60 seconds we are asking everyone to observe a moment of silence in honor of today's burial of Rosa Parks Â– the mother of the modern civil rights movement. On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks sparked America's civil rights movement by refusing to give up her seat to a white man. Her simple act of defiance and courage has helped pave the way to the freedoms that all of us, no matter our race, enjoy today in America. Rosa Parks died on October 24th at the age of 92. Thank you.Â”
BART's tribute to Rosa Parks is one of hundreds nationwide, including the funeral service in Detroit today.