For the first time it has come to light that civil rights activist Rosa Parks was almost raped by a white neighbor who employed her as a housekeeper when she was 18 years old. She wrote down the troubling story in an essay that was just uncovered from her personal belongings. She wrote:
"He offered me a drink of whiskey, which I promptly and vehemently refused . . . He moved nearer to me and put his hand on my waist. I was very frightened by now. He liked me . . . he didn't want me to be lonely and would I be sweet to him. He had money to give me for accepting his attentions. I was ready to die but give my consent never. Never, never."
Most famously known for her refusal to give up her bus seat for a white passenger, "first lady of civil rights" Rosa never shared this attempted rape story publicly or in her memoirs. It's sad that even a strong, outspoken icon like Rosa — who spent her life campaigning against white men raping black women — wasn't immune to the hesistancy rape victims have of coming forward with their story. What do you think about this new revelation? Will Rosa's story encourage other women to speak out against sexual assault?