The city of Montgomery, Ala., dedicated a statue to civil rights icon Rosa Parks on Sunday afternoon, presented by the city’s first Black mayor, Steven Reed.
Sunday was the second annual Rosa Parks Day in Alabama and also marked 64 years to the day Parks was arrested for sitting in the front of a bus and refusing to move for a white man. Her arrest sparked the 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system, which was organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Today, on the second official Rosa Parks Day, we honor a seamstress and a servant, one whose courage ran counter to her physical stature,” Reed said at the event. “She was a consummate contributor to equality and did so with a quiet humility that is an example for all of us.”
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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Reed both pulled down a sheet to unveil the statue.
“We are here to be reminded of the struggle so future generations can do better, and be better,” Ivey said. “No one has ever stood so tall as did Rosa Parks when she sat down.”
Parks’s statue stands near Montgomery Plaza, just feet from where she boarded the bus in 1955 and jump-started a desegregation movement in the region. The statue shows Parks standing and holding her purse in front of her, as if still waiting for the bus.
Also at the site are four granite markers that represent and honor four women who were plaintiffs in the court case Browder v. Gayle, which led to segregation on Montgomery’s public buses being made unconstitutional.
According to Alabama.com, the markers and the statue of Parks are a partnership between the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, the Alabama Department of Tourism and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.