Retired Prof. Stanley Warren Remembers the Impact of Rosa Parks

Retired Prof. Stanley Warren Remembers the Impact of Rosa Parks

October 26, 2005

Stanley Warren.jpgOctober 26, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "We pretty much lived in a black world," Stanley Warren, a retired DePauw University professor, says in today's Indianapolis Star. Dr. Warren, who also served as associate dean and director of black studies at the University, is quoted in a story in which Indianapolis residents recall how they were inspired by civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who died Monday. Warren, who grew up on the city's Near Eastside, recalls, "We shopped at black groceries; we lived in black neighborhoods; all our friends were black. And we absolutely did not go Downtown."

Tammy Webber writes, "Life for blacks in Indianapolis was, quite literally, a world apart from whites in 1955, when Rosa Parks made history by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Ala. Blacks rarely ventured into white areas. They weren't welcome in white restaurants. They had to sit in the balcony at white theaters. Blacks could only go to the city amusement park on certain days and were made to drink from separate drinking fountains there."

Later, she notes, "Warren said the changes since then -- even the fact young black people now can hang out Downtown -- sometimes are difficult to fathom. 'There is just a world of difference,' he said. 'Looking back, I can't even envision how the changes came to be. There is no limit to things young African-Americans can do now.'"

Read the complete story at the newspaper's Web site.

Stan Warren, who taught education and history at DePauw from 1969-1990, appeared in a 1990 CNN story that examined DePauw's efforts to recruit minority students. Access a video clip in this previous story.