Essay Example on Rosa Parks: Beyond the Iconic Bus Ride - Exploring Cultural Myths

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  463 Words
Date:  2023-03-28

In his article "The Real Rosa Parks," Paul Loeb effectively uses the iconic story of the famous civil rights activist to explore the nature of cultural myths and the way they can distort public ideas of heroism and activism. Today we know Rosa Parks mainly as the woman who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. However, Loeb believes that by reducing the 12-year-long journey of Rosa Parks as an activist during which she participated in the activities of the local NAACP chapter to only one step in this journey, though an undoubtedly important one, would mean to seriously diminish the value of her long-term patient and persistent work. Moreover, such a representation would make the next generations see Parks as a "lone wolf," while in reality, she was an organic part of the bigger movement without the support of which the ultimate success of her heroic deed would have been impossible. Therefore, learning not only about heroes, but also about the daily activities of the movements behind them is essential to inspire modern social activists to keep on working despite their doubts and lack of certainty. Finally, Loeb draws a crucial conclusion: social change comes as a result of daily efforts made by people who stand united in the face of hardships and challenges.

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I cannot say that working with the metacognitive log was easeful for me as in the process I had to stop and return to some parts of the text, re-read them several times. But, without doubt, it helped me better understand the structure of the article, its inner logic, single out the key points on which Loeb relies when trying to persuade the reader. I became aware of the fact that while reading I tend to mentally highlight certain words and phrases that I use as keys to the text. In Loeb's article, I paid special attention to the words "change," "misreading," "myth," "uncertainty" and "act" - these words have become the pillars which support my understanding of the text. Additionally, I found Loeb's metaphors ("collective amnesia" (Loeb, 2000), "Orwellian memory hole" (Loeb, 2000), "public myth" (Loeb, 2000)) very useful. Understanding them requires harder work of imagination and some additional research, but these metaphors certainly make reading the text more intriguing but also enlightening. To be able to focus on a text and comprehend the main ideas, context, and conclusions more fully I certainly need time (as I often return to some parts of the text and reread them), access to the sources of additional information about the author and the historical background and an opportunity to represent my thinking graphically, such as, for example, a metacognitive log.


Loeb, P. (2000, March 14). The Real Rosa Parks. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from

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Essay Example on Rosa Parks: Beyond the Iconic Bus Ride - Exploring Cultural Myths. (2023, Mar 28). Retrieved from

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