PROVIDENCE, RI- For those that boarded the RIPTA bus in Providence, they too were a part of the Rosa Parks reenactment. Whites sat up front, blacks in the back.
Rosa Parks: "Why do I have to get up out of my seat?"
Bus driver: "Well, obviously the sign here ma'am are for whites only. That's the way the laws are in the state of Alabama."
After Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man she sang, "We Shall Not be Moved."
70–year–old Maxine Anderson played Rosa Parks. Channeling the civil rights icon, staying in her seat was not just about race.
Anderson said, "If it was an elderly woman I wouldn't mind getting up for an elderly woman, if she was white or black or whatever. But for a man, I'm not gonna get up for a man. He's supposed to be getting up for me."
NAACP President, Jim Vincent said, "She defied a law that was unjust and because of her, a wrong was righted."
Vincent says this serves as a reminder of the progress that has been made, and a reminder of current challenges.
"Well, you still have people that are being disenfranchised in terms of voting rights. Minimum wage is too low and it's not a livable wage. There are a number of things that we feel are challenges today and it's just the fabric of America," said Vincent.
The bus driver, Stanley Fallens, who's also a member of the NAACP says the nation is in a good place.
"You know, you have an African–American governor in Massachusetts, an African–American president, African-American politicians in this neighborhood. Times have changed," said Fallens.
"If it wasn't for her we'd probably still be riding the back of the bus today and I'm just so glad that I was able to take part of this historical moment," said Elaine Williams.