It was December 1st, 1955 when a routine act of racism and white privilege was met head-on with defiance. You see, on her way home from work, Rosa Parks was instructed by her bus driver to give up her seat to a boarding white passenger. Rosa’s response? “Hell no...F.O.H” Well...maybe not verbatim, but she did refuse and was arrested for basically wanting to be treated as an equal citizen. The nerves of her, right?
This is the moment that was said to have sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the long fight for desegregated public facilities in America. But why did she do it? There was nothing extraordinary about this particular day. It was the same ole bus ride, and the same ole foolishness black people were dealing on a daily basis. According to Rosa, she was just tired. Not necessarily because he just had a long day of work, she was tired of being subjected to and complying with the unjust rules of society.
In the words of Fanny Lou Hamer, Rosa was sick and tired of being sick and tired. This is the feeling captured by SES Vth in his song “Rosa’s Response (Stay Woke)”. It’s a well crafted critique of the discriminatory psyche and practices that structure our communities and life experiences. The song also serves as mantra to encourage the same type of resistance and defiance to any form of injustice. Almost everyday we are reminded that these are not issues of the past. You can still lose your life for just looking different while out taking a jog.
People everyday are struggling for the right to be themselves. SES chooses to use his music as a form of resistance that embodies the spirit of heroes like Rosa Parks. In what ways can you use your talents to fight the various “isms” that stain our civilization?