Civil rights leader Rosa Parks has been honored with a statue in Alabama.
What We Know:
- On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Sixty-four years later, the late pioneer is being honored with a statue in the same city.
- On December 1, 2019, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, the first African American mayor of the city, and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey unveiled the new statue of Parks near the Montgomery Plaza. There are also four granite markers near Parks’ statue that are dedicated to the plaintiffs in the Browder v. Gayle case, the historical court case that determined segregation on Montgomery buses was unconstitutional.
- “This depiction will inspire future generations to make the pilgrimage to our city, to push toward the path of righteousness, strength, courage, and equality,” expressed Reed.
- There were about 400 spectators within the crowd. Amongst them were many civil rights leaders, including the plaintiffs from the Browder v. Gayle case, and Fred Gray, who was Parks’ lawyer in her court case.
- Fred Gray told the Montgomery Advertiser that “For the city officials, from the city and the county, to be able to honor Mrs. Parks and honor those plaintiffs, and even more importantly to honor the 40,000 African-American men and women who stayed off of the buses for 382 days, it is indeed a step in the right direction.”
Sadly, Parks passed away at the age of 92 in her Detroit home in 2005. This statue was not only built to commemorate her courageous act on that fateful day in 1955 but, to also celebrate black history.