The statue of late American civil right activist, Rosa Parks has been unveiled in Montgomery, as she is being memorialized in the city where she was once arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person.
The bronze life-size figure which was unveiled on Sunday in Montgomery, Alabama with the help of Mayor Steven Reed who recently became Montgomery’s first black mayor as well as Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey, was to mark the 64th anniversary of the Bus incident, TMZ reports.
The report also added that Mary Louise Smith was on hand for the unveiling as well she’s one of the original plaintiffs in the Browder vs. Gayle case that ultimately desegregated buses in Montgomery a year after Parks was arrested. The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision after the city of Montgomery and the state of Alabama appealed the original ruling, declaring segregated buses were unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment
On Dec. 1, 1955 … Rosa Parks refused to follow a city bus driver’s order to surrender her seat — which was already in the “coloured section” to a white passenger because the front part of the bus was already full. She stood her ground and got taken to jail for it.
Her refusal and the subsequent arrest sparked the Montgomery bus boycotts, which lasted for a whopping 381 days … and severely hurt the transit companies’ bottom line. The city eventually changed its segregation bus law once SCOTUS weighed in the following year.
Rosa Parks died of natural causes in 2005 at the age of 92. She remains a central figure in the civil rights movement of this country.