The Radical Democratic Tradition
Program #WESC002. Recorded in Portland, OR on October 27, 1995.
Throughout history there have been individuals who have challenged conventional wisdom and have stretched societal limits. Collectively they constitute the radical democratic tradition. A sterling example of this lineage is Rosa Parks. Segregation was entrenched throughout the South. Montgomery, Alabama was one of its bastions. But on December 1st 1955, this 43-year old activist transformed history. She refused to sit in the back of the bus and was arrested. By her simple act of courage and defiance Rosa Parks triggered the Montgomery bus boycott, which in turn sparked the civil rights movement. Seemingly inconsequential actions can lead to momentous changes. It’s hard to predict when they’ll occur. Martin Luther King, Jr, who first came to prominence during the Montgomery bus boycott once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
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