Coffee | Rosa Parks (Greenville)

Event details

  • June 19, 2020
  • 9:00 am - 10:00 am
  • Upcountry History Museum, 540 Buncombe St, Greenville, SC 29601
  • 864.467.3100

 View Map  |  Cost: Free  | 

Coffee & Conversation: Rosa Parks led by Becky Stone

During the June Festival each morning at 9am from Wednesday June 19 – Saturday June 22, we gather together to pick the brains of the historical performers. No costumes, no script, just a chance to have some personal time and dialog with the performers – over free coffee.

Each morning features a different performer/historical figure. Often the other performers and Chautauqua staff also join in the fun. And if you come to multiple Discussions, you begin to see how the 2019 “It’s Revolutionary!” historical figures relate to each other.

Admission to the event is Free.

When the event is over, the Upcountry History Museum will be open. If you are not already a Museum member, admission to the Museum is: Adults $10, seniors and college students with ID  $9, and children ages 4-18  $8. Children age 3 and under will continue to be free. Also, as a Blue Star Museum, all active duty military service members and their families, as well as military veterans, will be free through Labor Day.


The Festival Coffee & Conversation Series is a collaboration with The Upcountry History Museum – Furman University whose mission connects people, history, and culture.


Becky Stone, holds a BA from Vassar College in drama and a MA in Elementary Educational Counseling from Villanova University. She is a former teacher of theater and chorus and theater appreciation at Veritas Christian Academy in Fletcher, NC. While raising their four children, she helped her husband start GreenPrints Magazine, a garden quarterly. She continues as the Circulation Manager.

Becky has been a regular storyteller-performer at the Biltmore Estate for many years. She has performed as a storyteller at schools, libraries, and festivals throughout Western North Carolina specializing in African-American, Appalachian, and world tales. She also researched, developed, and performed historical programs for the Center for Diversity Education in Asheville, The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She has also performs in several area theater companies.

In 2003 Becky performed his first Chautauqua character: Pauli Murray, civil rights activist, lawyer, author of States Laws on Race and Color and first black women ordained an Episcopal priest. She has since added Harriet Tubman and Maya Angelou to her repertoire. She has performed in numerous Chautauquas nationwide.

1913 – Born in Tuskeegee, AL

1932 – Marries Raymond Parks

1943 – Joins Montgomery chapter of the NAACP and becomes the secretary under E.D. Nixon’s presidency

– Thrown off a city bus by James Blake, the same driver who has her arrested in 1955.

1945 – Successfully registers to vote on her third attempt

1949 – Helps start the Montgomery NAACP Youth Council, the beginning of her life-long commitment to youth

1955 – Attends the Highlander Folk School, a training center for activists

– Arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus

– The Montgomery bus boycott begins, ending just over a year later (381 days)

1957 – Moves to Detroit after death threats and both she and her husband losing their jobs

1963 – Participates in the great March to Freedom (Detroit) and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (D.C.)

1965 – Begins 23 years as manager of the Detroit office of Rep. John Conyers

1987 – Establishes the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development

1996 – Receives the Medal of Freedom from Pres. Clinton

1999 – Receives the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor

2005 – Dies and is the first African American woman to lie in state in the US Capitol building

I don’t believe in gradualism or that whatever is to be done for the better should take forever to do.

Action is my domain. It’s not what I say but what I do that matters. 

Segregation itself is vicious. To my mind, there was no way you could make segregation decent or nice or acceptable.  

You died a little each time you found yourself face to face with this kind of discrimination. 

By the time I was 6, I was old enough to realize that we were not actually free.

Love, not fear, must be our guide.

When one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.

I felt I had been destroyed too long ago. I had hope that the young people would be benefitted by equal education, should the decision of 1954 be carried out as it should have been.

I would be lynched rather than be run over by them.

I felt that I was lynched many times in mind and spirit.

Your behavior must be above reproach . . . This is how you gain the respect of others.

* Rosa Parks: A Life by Douglas Brinkley (2000) Thoroughly researched, very readable, encompassing biography. Even the bibliographical notes are a good read.

* Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks with Jim Haskins (1999) You can hear Rosa’s voice as you read this. She has a heart for young people, and this was written for them. Gives her overview with personal insights.

* The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis (2013) Written with an eye toward understanding the things in Park’s life that contributed to her activism and militancy. Your idea of who Rosa Parks was may change.

(Starred items are available in the Greenville County Library System.)