The Whole World’s Watching

Rosa Parks passed away on October 24th at the age of 92 - but her spirit lives on. Already there are calls being made to celebrate December 1st as “Rosa Parks Day,” and on that date - the 50th anniversary of Park’s defiant act of civil disobedience - a nationwide strike against war, racism and poverty has been declared. On December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of defiance was calculated to overthrow the racist power structure that oppressed African Americans, and four days after her arrest - the Montgomery bus boycott began, thrusting tens of thousands of Blacks upon the world stage in a struggle for dignity and human rights. For those in Los Angeles who honor Rosa Parks and all that she stood for, a visit to the California African American Museum (CAAM) is in order.

The Whole World’s Watching: Peace and Social Justice Movements of the 1960s and 1970s, is an exhibition of historic photographs presented by the CAAM. Their press release announces the exhibit will examine “the rich history of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s through 90 documentary photographs. The brutality of racial injustice, the courage of the weak challenging the powerful, the tragedy of fallen heroes, the horrors of war, the rage of students, and excesses of the Summer of Love - all touched Americans through the pictures in Life and Look, the newspapers, and television sets. With a focus on California, where many of these activities were born, distinguished photographers illuminate the rise of the Free Speech and anti-war movements, the Black Panthers, feminism, worker’s and disability rights, environmental activism and the struggle for gay rights.” The Whole World’s Watching runs until February 10, 2006. The museum is located at 600 State Drive - Exposition Park - Los Angeles, CA 90037. For information, view the CAAM website, at: www.caamuseum.org

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