Mary Louise Smith, a Complainant in the Browder vs. Case Gayle, who desegregated buses in Montgomery, stands next to the Rosa Parks statue after her unveiling in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, on Sunday, December 1, 2019, the day of her arrest so as not to abandon her place on a bus. from the city.
A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will stand in downtown Montgomery. The statue shows Parks standing firm in a long coat with her hands clutching her purse in front of her.
Her arrest on December 1, 1955, sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a demonstration organized by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which led to the desegregation of public transportation in the city.
News outlets report that Steven Reed, who recently became the first African American mayor of Montgomery, took part in an unveiling ceremony Sunday.
The city said the statue will be unveiled Sunday at 1 p.m.at Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street Fountain. The successful demonstration also played a key role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which integrated public spaces nationwide. The life-size, bronze statue depicts the seamstress, and four historic markers honor the plaintiffs in the landmark Browder v. Gayle case, a lawsuit challenging Montgomery's and Alabama's bus segregation laws.
The City of Montgomery, the Montgomery County Commission and the State of Alabama Department of Tourism funded the project and commissioned Montgomery County artist Clydetta Fulmer to complete the work in conjunction with city and state bicentennial commemorations. "This is a great day for Montgomery County".
"Each of these seats will have a commemorative sign displayed on them, honoring both Mrs. Parks' legacy and her dedication to the Civil Rights Movement", GRTC officials said.
In addition, all GRTC buses kept their headlights on all day to represent "her light".
Sunday marks the second annual Rosa Parks Day in Alabama, after the state legislature approved the day honoring the civil rights icon a year ago.
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