The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
“The Rosa Parks of American history – the quiet, demure and tired seamstress taking a seat on the bus – is simply a fable. The real Rosa Parks, whom we explore in this film, is a lifelong activist, outspoken strategist and freedom fighter. My hope is that this documentary, alongside Jeanne’s incredible book and the free teacher curriculum that she has created with Zinn Educational Project, helps to redefine Rosa Parks’ legacy and lead to a fuller understanding of her place in history.”
— Soledad O’Brien, executive producer
ABOUT THE FILM: Based on the bestselling biography by Jeanne Theoharis and executive produced by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, takes a deeper dive into Rosa Parks’ often overlooked breadth of accomplishments and the impact of her fight to overcome racial injustice. Detailing her achievements beyond the mere fraction of Parks’ life taught in schools, the film takes a deeper dive into the groundbreaking actions spearheaded by Rosa throughout the course of the civil rights movement.
Directors Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton expertly weave together interviews from academics and activists such as Bryan Stevenson, Patrisse Cullors and Ericka Huggins, along with personal stories from her family, and remarkable footage of Mrs. Parks herself, to illuminate her decades of extensive organizing, strategizing, and activism in the pursuit of Black liberation. Lisa Gay Hamilton lends her talents to the documentary as the voice of Mrs. Rosa Parks.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Director Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on PBS, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline Digital, New York Magazine’s website -The Cut, The Atlantic and Field of Vision. Her film, How it Feels To Be Free, premiered on PBS’s American Masters in January of 2021. Her recent films, The New York Times Presents: The Killing of Breonna Taylor premiered on FX and Hulu and The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show premiered on MSNBC and is streaming on Peacock. Her previous film, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel and was nominated for an EMMY. Her films, The New Black and Promised Land won multiple festival awards before airing on PBS’s Independent Lens and P.O.V. Yoruba won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. She is the 2016 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award and a Guggenheim Fellow. Yoruba is the founding director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.