Rosa Parks Nearly Raped by White Neighbor

'I was ready to die but give my consent never,' she wrote
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2011 10:22 AM CDT
Rosa Parks Nearly Raped by White Neighbor
One of six legal-sized papers, written in pencil, in which Rosa Parks gives a harrowing and detailed account of her near-rape by a white neighbor.   (AP Photo/Guernsey's)

Rosa Parks was almost raped as a young woman, and in a newly surfaced essay she tells the story in painful detail. Her white neighbor, who hired her as a housekeeper, “moved nearer to me and put his hand on my waist. I was very frightened by now,” she wrote long after the 1931 incident. “He liked me. He had money to give me for accepting his attentions. I was ready to die but give my consent never. Never, never." The essay is part of a vast collection of the late Parks’ belongings for which auctioneers are seeking a new institutional home, the AP reports.

Parks spent much of her life campaigning against the rape of black women by white men, and “I thought it was because of the stories that she had heard,” says a civil rights historian. “But this gives a much more personal context to that.” The collection includes some 8,000 items ranging from letters and papers to clothes and furniture. “"It is wonderful and breathtaking," says an auctioneer. "It will be up to the institution that ends up with it to make this material known to the world." (Read more Rosa Parks stories.)

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