The new documentary “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” gives a comprehensive look at the legacy of the woman known for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.
Beyond helping to inspire the Montgomery bus boycott that ended Alabama’s bus segregation law, Parks was also a lifelong supporter of the Black Power movement and organized in campaigns to seek justice for wrongfully imprisoned Black people, political prisoners, and Black rape survivors like Recy Taylor, whose case Parks investigated for the NAACP in 1944. We speak to the film’s co-director, Yoruba Richen, who says Parks paid a price for her activism, including having to leave Montgomery for Detroit to escape public backlash. “We often think of these civil rights leaders as heroic, and [they] make these stances, and then everything’s fine. But the risk and the danger that they face is often not explored,” says Richen.