Jeanne Theoharis speaks about Rosa Parks book today at Carnegie Mellon | Pittsburgh City Paper

Jeanne Theoharis speaks about Rosa Parks book today at Carnegie Mellon

click to enlarge Jeanne Theoharis - PHOTO BY TOM MARTINEZ
Photo by Tom Martinez
Jeanne Theoharis
Often called the “first lady of civil rights,” the popular image of Rosa Parks is that of a quiet seamstress whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus helped end public segregation.

However, Jeanne Theoharis challenges this image of Parks in her new book, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, which received a 2014 NAACP Image Award.

As part of Carnegie Mellon’s annual Margaret Morrison Distinguished Lecture in Women’s History, Theoharis recalls Parks’ political philosophy and six decades of social justice work, rebuking the image of a quiet one-off protestor.

Theoharis reveals a woman who had a history of being rebellious, and how this rebellious nature impacted years of unjust social practice. Gwen Ifill of PBS Newshour has praised Theoharis for “giving us a valuable framework for understanding the present and future.”

The New York Times describes Theoharis’ Rosa Parks, “as much Malcolm X as she is Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Theoharis, who is the author of several other books about the civil rights movement and contemporary race politics, will speak at 4:30 p.m. today following a short reception.

The free talk will be given in the Giant Eagle Auditorium, room A51 of Baker Hall at Carnegie Mellon, located at 1098 Morewood Ave., Oakland.