Idea For Public Service Announcement

Camera opens on a bus interior from the front; passengers settle in as the bus prepares to start moving.  A subtitle shows, “1955.” 

A new shot gives a close up of a black woman sitting near the front, looking seriously but distractedly out the window.  A voice with a Southern accent off camera says, “You need to give up your seat and move to the back of the bus.”  She looks over and up at the man off camera and, after a brief pause, says, “No.”  Camera cuts to a side view of bus driver standing over her, grimacing menacingly.  Camera cuts back to the woman, who turns her head slowly now and looks resolutely ahead of her.  The bus driver’s voice is heard saying, “If you don’t move, I’ll call the police and have you arrested.”  The woman calmly says, “You do that.”  Camera cuts once again to the back of the bus, where several rows of black passengers look on; camera then shows a few quick close-ups of black passengers nodding in approval.

Fade out and back in: camera now shows the same scene as at the beginning, but this time the subtitle says, “Today.”  Several black boys are shown from behind walking down the aisle of the bus.  They have sagging pants, bandanas, etc.  The bus is mostly empty, but they swagger past every seat to the very last row, where they rough house and yell.  Camera pans to the side, showing an elderly black woman sitting near the front.  Her head sags a bit and she sadly, slowly shakes her head in disapproval. 

Scene moves to the outside of the bus, behind it, showing it pull out and drive away.  As it moves, a narrator reads a slogan that appears on the screen: “Don’t move back.  Keep moving forward.” 

[Note: I realize this is a drastic simplification of Rosa Parks’ protest, but it’s necessary for brevity.]


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