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World & Nation

Rosa Parks statue to be unveiled in Montgomery, Ala.

Rosa Parks
Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks in 2001. She died in 2005.
(Paul Warner / Associated Press)

A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be unveiled Sunday in downtown Montgomery, Ala.

The statue will be unveiled at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Square Fountain, the city of Montgomery said.

The unveiling coincides with the anniversary of Parks’ historic Dec. 1, 1955, arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

The statue will be about 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.

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Along with the Parks memorial, four granite markers will honor the four women who served as plaintiffs in Browder vs. Gayle, the landmark District Court case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional, Ledbetter said.

Aurelia Browder, Mary Louise Smith, Susie McDonald and Claudette Colvin will be honored with the markers.

The civil rights memorials are a partnership of 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 this year when he was elected as the city’s first African American mayor.

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Alabama lawmakers in 2018 voted to name Dec. 1 as Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day in the state.


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