A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE - ROSA AND RAYMOND
I get emails from Smart Marriages, and tonight, I came home to read this story of a love between two people who overcame a lot. The lady in this story has recently passed away, and will be honored by many as she becomes the first woman in history to lie in state in the Capital Rotunda.
But before she kept her seat on the bus, and before the results of that action became history in our nation, she had begun another story, that of her marriage. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and thanks to Diane for sending it out, and to my friend, Judy Parejko for suggesting that Cindy Coan write it. We need to hear this much more often today, in the world of 'give up and toss out', 'disposable' marriages due to easy no fault, forced, unilateral divorce.
God bless you, Rosa Parks.
- A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE - ROSA AND RAYMOND - A MUST READ
The year was 1932. She was just nineteen, her soon-to-be husband a few years older. Neither had a high school diploma. Both had come from fatherless homes. Thus, neither had the example of a successful parental marriage to fall back on. What they did have was each other.
In the years to come, their marriage would be tested. As African Americans, both had a strong dedication to the civil rights movement. While firm in their convictions, they understood all too well the risks and the sacrifice that went with such involvement. In the 1930s, the wife often feared for her husband's safety as he went to meetings of the then-fledgling National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Nonetheless, she gave him her unflagging moral support. In time she would join him as a fellow NAACP activist, going on to become one of its earliest women secretaries.
Their marriage endured, as did their activism. They got through the World War II years and beyond. The couple watched their beloved movement grow as civil rights activists, steadily rising in number, called on America to remember the battlefield sacrifices made by blacks and whites alike. Champions of racial equality met with resistance from die-hard segregationists but stood firm. So did the young couple.
Then, in the mid-1950s, the wife was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus -- an event that helped spark the year-long Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott. The boycott ultimately ended in victory for civil rights supporters, but in the meantime both members of the couple lost their jobs. The next decade was one of financial hardship as they struggled to find work that would enable them to keep food on the table -- she as a seamstress and he as a barber. Not until 1965, when a Congressman offered her a secretarial position, did the couple's financial situation finally ease.
Throughout all their difficulties, the marriage of this couple remained strong and resilient, lasting nearly 45 years until the husband died in 1977. Their names? Rosa and Raymond Parks.
Today we remember and honor this steadfast and courageous couple for their real and lasting contribution to the cause of justice and racial equality in America. Yet, even as we celebrate their role in helping us achieve lasting social progress, we must not forget that the Parks achieved something else of at least equal if not greater value -- something calling for every bit as much courage, dedication -- and, most of all -- love as anything they accomplished on the civil rights front. That something was an enduring, successful marriage.
From the start, the combination of odds would seem to be very much against Rosa and Raymond Parks. Having grown up in fatherless families, they had to struggle through social upheavals, including a world war. They faced racial injustice, physical danger, financial hardships -- the works. Plenty of marriages have broken up for lesser reasons. And yet their marriage endured.
Perhaps some of you who read this are facing major marital struggles. Perhaps you know couples who are. As we face such struggles, wondering how -- or whether -- we're ever going to get through them, we would do well to remember those before us who lit the trail for us and showed us the way. In the end, that may well prove to be the greatest legacy of Rosa and Raymond Parks and other couples like them.
Cindy Coan grants permission to use this as long as you give her credit and include her email address.
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Cindy describes herself as a librarian and an indexer, mostly back-of-the book. Free-lance writing is her hobby. She has long had an interest in history, including African American history. Judy Parejko suggested she write this piece on Rosa and Raymond Parks, an expansion on an item Cindy had written a couple years ago.
I'm sharing the article because it is wonderful. I'm sharing the info about Cindy because so many of you in this marriage education movement could use a good freelance writer/editor/indexer.
It's amazing to me that I never heard this love story. Never even knew there was a Raymond. Behind every great woman..... I expect to see a lot of babies named Rosa and Raymond this year. -