New memorial to depict Rosa Parks at spot of 1955 arrest

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This undated file photo shows Rosa Parks riding on a Montgomery Area Transit System bus. [Photo Credit: AP Photo | Montgomery Advertiser]

A new memorial to Rosa Parks will depict the one-time Alabama seamstress near the spot where she was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955.

The dedication of the monument will be held Wednesday on “Rosa Parks Day” to begin a week of activities in Alabama’s capital reflecting on Parks and her actions, which provided the impetus for the start of the modern civil rights era 66 years ago.

Created by Montgomery artist Ian Mangum, the memorial is composed of a series of pieces of black steel that were formed to create an image of Parks. The installation is identical to one that Mangum created for Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Parks, an activist with the NAACP, gained worldwide fame after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man on Dec. 1, 1955. Her arrest led to the yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott, which propelled the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. into the national limelight. A subsequent lawsuit led to a ruling that outlawed racial segregation on Montgomery’s buses.

The memorial is located outside the Rosa Parks Museum, which is near the place in downtown Montgomery where Parks was arrested.

Other events will be held in the city over the next week to honor Parks, who died in 2005, and recall the legacy of the bus boycott.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.