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Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks dies at 92 from natural causes

DETROIT (AP) – Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died Monday evening. She was 92.

Mrs. Parks died at her home during the evening of natural causes, with close friends by her side, said Gregory Reed, an attorney who represented her for the past 15 years.

Mrs. Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955 that was to change the course of American history and earn her the title “mother of the civil rights movement.”

At that time, Jim Crow laws in place since the post-Civil War Reconstruction required separation of the races in buses, restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South, while legally sanctioned racial discrimination kept blacks out of many jobs and neighborhoods in the North.

USU Poetry Lounge successful,

organizer plans for next event

A Poetry Lounge event was held in the University Student Union Pub Sports Bar and Grill on Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. “Around nine poets were set to recite their poems, but we ended up having around 16 poets total,” said Bryson White, Associated Students director of political awareness and one of the organizers of the event. There was an open mic session later that night, he said. Most of the poets were CSUN alumni and students, and most of the poetry recited at the event focused on the theme of love, White said. Fifty to 55 people showed up consistently during the whole event, he said, adding that the total crowd count was more than 70. “That was a pretty good turnout, considering we only had (Oct. 14) up to the event itself to advertise,” White said. He said he would eventually want to see the event occur several times on campus this year. “The next Poetry Lounge will be definitely at the end of November, although we don’t know a specific date yet,” he said. While this event was funded by the A.S. executive cabinet, White said he hopes to get other sponsors for the next event. White said he plans to transform the Pub into a lounge for poetry night. “We’d like to get some couches or tables in the Pub just for that night. You know, give it more of a lounge feel,” he said.

– Mark Solleza

Armenian Student Association sets Culture Day event for today

The Armenian Student Association will host an Armenian Culture Day event today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Matador Bookstore Lawn. There will be Armenian art, artifacts and paintings on display. There will also be Armenian books and other items for sale, and a four-member dance performance from the Hayasdan Dance Group will be on hand, said Terenig Topjian, head of public relations for the ASA. In addition to a traditional Armenian instrumental band and other entertainment, there will be Armenian food available, including kebab, rice, taboole (a kind of rice) and humus, a type of dip. There will also be a baking demonstration held on the lawn, Topjian said. According to Topjian, about 200 people are expected to stop by throughout the day.

– Ryan Denham

The Montgomery, Ala., seamstress, an active member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was riding on a city bus Dec. 1, 1955, when a white man demanded her seat.

Mrs. Parks refused, despite rules requiring blacks to yield their seats to whites. Two black Montgomery women had been arrested earlier that year on the same charge, but Mrs. Parks was jailed. She also was fined $14.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said he felt a personal tie to the civil rights icon: “She stood up by sitting down. I’m only standing here because of her.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton called Mrs. Parks “a gentle woman whose single act changed the most powerful nation in the world. … One of the highlights of my life was meeting and getting to know her.”

Speaking in 1992, Mrs. Parks said history too often maintains “that my feet were hurting and I didn’t know why I refused to stand up when they told me. But the real reason of my not standing up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passenger. We had endured that kind of treatment for too long.”