Sixty years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her courageous act is now American legend. She is a staple of elementary school curricula and was the second-most popular historical figure named by American students in a survey.
When Republican presidential contenders were asked to pick a woman they wanted pictured on the $10 bill, the largest number of votes went to Parks. Americans are convinced they know this civil rights hero.
When she died in 2005, the word “quiet” was used in most of her obituaries and eulogies. We have grown comfortable with the Parks who is often seen but rarely heard.