Feb 3, 2013
Seventeen months before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on an Alabama bus in 1955, a little-known Civil Rights heroine named Sarah Mae Fleming refused to obey a similar ordinance on a bus from Edgewood to Columbia, SC. Flemming’s story has largely faded from the public’s memory, until now. “Before Rosa” tells of Flemming’s experience with a belligerent bus driver and her struggle to get her lawsuite against the bus company to court. Eventually, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that segregated seating in Flemming’s case was unconstitutional. The ruling became a precedent that played an important role later in the Parks case.