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I went to view Rosa Parks last night (at the Capitol)

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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 01:56 PM
Original message
I went to view Rosa Parks last night (at the Capitol)
Edited on Mon Oct-31-05 01:57 PM by northzax
It was a remarkable experience. I got there around 8:30, soon after the service ended. The line was already in place, and doubled in length in the next 20 minutes. The V on the map below shows where I joined the line. I finally entered the rotunda at 3:18 AM. The lines below represent double lines, back and forth, between five and two people wide (five at the back, two at the front)



The line was incredibly patient, and people were very friendly and cheerful, in fact, I can't remember the last time I was in a place with so many children in line and none misbehaving. I heard one baby cry the entire night (considering the number of children there, maybe 20 percent of the crowd, standing and waiting patiently.

I'd say the line was 80-90 percent Black, everything from old women with walkers (there was an 80 year old woman with a walker in line right behind me) to families, to young men dressed in gang attire. Some people were dressed in mourining (try getting a 6 year old to wear a suit and stand in line for 7 hours, people did it) Around midnight, someone ordered 50 pizzas, anonymously, and had them delivered to the line. At one point, a man behind me, there with his extended family (he was probably 40) started to gripe about walking in line in the switchbacks. His mother announced loudly "well, I'm standing in line, you want to sit out and watch all the old people walk by, you go right ahead! but I'm staying here." he stayed in line.

I was in the Reagan line last year, and there are some interesting comparisons. First, the police were much more prepared for that one, there were more pre-set lines, more portapotties, more police directing traffic. This line was organic, everyone just queued up, without direction and waited patiently. After only three hours in the Reagan line, I heard lots of grumbling around me (it was hot that day, so more grumbling was in order) Last night every time I started to feel grumbly, I'd see someone that I couldn't believe was still standing (grandparents holding children on their shoulders for 5 hours and the like)

Comment I heard from the woman behind me "I wish there was more media here, the only time you hear about groups of black people like this is when we are misbehaving, people need to see this"

oh, and a couple about 50 feet in front of us (with all the switchbacks, you see people over and over) had run the Marine Corps Marathon that day, and could barely walk. didn't matter. It was a fabulous experience, all in all, and even though I can barely move today, it was totally worth it.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. that's so cool -- especially that someone donated food ...
A very thoughtful gesture.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 02:44 PM
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2. I was tempted to go, ended up watching part of it on C-Span
I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Rosa Parks about 15 years ago, and expressed my appreciation directly to her while she was alive.

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