Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Alabama Unveils Statue of Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks

A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was dedicated in Alabama's capital city on Sunday, the 64th anniversary of her historic refusal to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was dedicated in Alabama's capital city on Sunday, the 64th anniversary of her historic refusal to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man.

Mayor Steven Reed and Gov. Kay Ivey pulled back a cloth to unveil the statue before a crowd of about 400 spectators.

The ceremony coincided with the anniversary of Parks’ Dec. 1, 1955, arrest that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

"This depiction will inspire future generations to make the pilgrimage to our city, to push toward the path of righteousness, strength, courage and equality," Reed, who recently became the first African American mayor of Montgomery, said at the ceremony.

Four granite markers near the statue honor plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the case that determined segregation on Montgomery buses was unconstitutional. One of the plaintiffs, Mary Louise Smith, took part in the ceremony Sunday.

Parks was 92 when she died in 2005.

Fred Gray, the attorney who defended Parks, the Browder v. Gayle plaintiffs and many other civil rights activists sat in the second row at the unveiling.

"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," Gray told the Montgomery Advertiser.

Categories / Arts, Civil Rights

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.

Loading...