By, Destiny Garner
Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
Six decades ago a seamstress and servant took the bus on her way home from work. During a time of segregation in the south she refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. This act sparked a 351 day boycott of Montgomery’s public bus system, in which changed history for the better. Now 64 years later, the fight for equality and civil rights continue and we honor those that paved the way for us today. One way we show honor is through art, specifically with monuments.
Public monuments are given to those with respect and honor from their community. The latest Statue erected in the city of Alabama has been revealed this past Sunday, honoring Rosa Parks. Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks will be remembered with a life size statue in Montgomery, Alabama. Along with the statue, Sunday was also the second annual Rosa Parks day in the city. The statue stands just feet away from where she boarded the bus in 1955, at the Court Street Foundation. Sunday December 1st. marked the 64th anniversary of the historical event when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Which led to her arrest, and a year long boycott in Alabama. As a result of the boycott, public transportation was desegregated in Alabama.The unveiling of the statue, along with other events took place all weekend in her honor.
Rosa Parks wasn’t the only icon honored this past weekend. The four female plaintiffs involved in the decision to desegregate public transportation was also remembered. The women, Aurelia Browder, Claudette Coluin, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith was given plaques with their names on them at the site. The statue not only celebrates and honors the late Rosa Parks, but it’s a remembrance for those that fought during the civil rights era. The unveiling and celebrations was hosted by the Mayor and Gov. Kay Ivey. During the unveiling ceremony, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed stated “ This depiction will inspire future generations to make the pilgrimage to our city, to push towards the path of righteousness and equality. Over 300 people came out to celebrate the life and legacy of Rosa Parks. Mayor Steven Reed, the city’s first Black mayor goes on to share great words of Rosa Parks and her contributes to the civil rights movement. He states, “ She was a Consummate contributor to equality and did so with a quiet humility that is an example for all of us”. The statue was created by local artist, Clydetta Fulmer.
Throughout her life she received various honors including the Congressional Gold Medal. She also worked as an administrative assistant to the late US. Rep. John Conyers. John Conyers was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Later in 1992 when she published her first autobiography, She writes that was wasn’t physically tired that day, “Just tired giving in”. Rosa Parks later died in 2005 at the age of 95.
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free.. So other people would also be free.” – Rosa Parks