Rosa Parks is engraved in history for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. This past weekend marked the 64th anniversary of her life-changing actions and she was honored with a statue.
The bronze, life-size figure was unveiled right where Parks’ refusal took place. The first Black mayor of Alabama, Steven Reed, and the state’s governor, Kay Ivey, were in attendance.
Mary Louise Smith was also in attendance and she served as one of the original plaintiffs in the Browder vs. Gayle case, which resulted in the desegregation of buses, one year after Parks was arrested.
After the state appealed the original ruling, the Supreme Court declared segregated buses are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was sitting in the “colored section” of the bus minding her own business, when the driver asked her to give her seat up to a white man because the front was full. The driver got the right one that day because she held her ground and didn’t give up her seat. She was jailed as a result and this event served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.
The Civil Rights icon died in 2005 at the age of 92 from natural causes.