If you had to point to ground zero for the Civil Rights struggle and the moment that made the movement, then it would have to be December 1, 1955. The day that Rosa Parks defiantly refused to give up her seat on a city bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
64 years later the city is finally honoring the Icon with a simple yet powerful statue in downtown Montgomery. “On the 64th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, we honor Rosa Parks by dedicating this statue in her name. I hope its presence will remind us of the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement and ensure that future generations will be better and do better,” tweeted Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
On the 64th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, we honor Rosa Parks by dedicating this statue in her name. I hope its presence will remind us of the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement & ensure that future generations will be better & do better. #AL200 #AL200Countdown pic.twitter.com/KU65BiI5Vv
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) December 1, 2019
Governor Ivey joined Montgomery’s first African-American mayor, Steven Reed, at the statue’s unveiling.
Her iconic “not today” moment and subsequent jailing sparked the boycott led by Martin Luther King Jr. of the Montgomery bus system. A little over a year later, Parks bold move paid dividends after the United States Supreme Court ruled segregation on the city bus system illegal and a violation of the US Constitution.
The Rosa Parks statue is located at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street Fountain and is a TravelCoterie #ForTheCulture destination. The statue modeling appears to be influenced by a photograph of Mrs. Parks taken on the day of the Supreme Court ruling. There are also statues of Parks in Washington DC and Eugene, Oregon that depict her seated on the bus.