A statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has been unveiled in the United States of America. The statue of the renowned civil rights activist was unveiled to celebrate the anniversary of her arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white man.
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Ms. Rosa Parks refused the order from a bus driver, James F. Blake, to relinquish her seat in the "coloured section" to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled.
The incident sparked a wild outrage and would go on to lead to what was referred to as the great Montgomery Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.
Rosa Parks is credited as the mother of civil rights movements leading to the acceptance of African-Americans in the United States. Great activists like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King (Jnr) admitted that she inspired their movements.
The statue of Rosa Parks was unveiled at 1:30 p.m. at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street Fountain, Alabama.
Contrary to some reports which claimed Rosa Parks, 42 at that time was too tired to leave her seat, she wasn't incapable of leaving her seat when the bus driver demanded her to do so. Parks decided to remain in her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus because she didn't believe she should have to move because of her race, even though that was the law.
The statue will be placed approximately 30 feet from the spot where Parks is believed to have boarded the bus, said Ashley Ledbetter, executive director of the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.
Along with the Parks memorial, the city will present two historical markers for Browder v. Gayle – the landmark case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional.
Aurelia Browder, Mary Louise Smith, Susie McDonald, and Claudette Colvin will be honoured with the markers.
The civil rights memorials are a partnership between the city of Montgomery, Montgomery County, the Alabama Department of Tourism and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed are among those speaking at the unveiling. Reed made history earlier this year when he was elected as the city's first African American mayor.
Alabama lawmakers in 2018 voted to name December 1 as Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day in the state.
Credit: The Associated Press
Header Image Credit: TMZ