U.S. Capitol to get Rosa Parks Statue Before Alabama's Capitol


By Ashley Thompson

This week, A life-size statue of Civil Rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be unveiled at the nation's Capitol and some here in Montgomery are now asking themselves if we should have had one first, at our Capitol.

Having been born in Tuskegee and raised in Montgomery, Rosa Parks' Alabama roots run deep. Her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955 helped jump start the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Often referred to as the 'Mother of Civil Rights,' Rosa Parks' influence is still seen in Montgomery. Cameron Martindale is the former president of Troy University at Montgomery and says she had the opportunity to escort Rosa Parks through Montgomery's Rosa Parks library and museum.

"When she came inside and saw the video that begins the museum, as each person would show up she'd say oh there's my mother or there's my father or that's my school, that's Mrs. White's school I attended," says Martindale. "She was so pleased with the whole thing."

The Civil Rights icon can be remembered in other parts of Montgomry, including on historical street markers and on Alabama State University's campus. But not at our state's capitol, which plays host to a

confederate memorial monument. And some believe historical figures of the Civil Rights Movement should too be memorialized.

"They're going to put a statue in the nation's Capitol, why can't we have one in Montgomery, Alabama on the capitol grounds?" asks Robert E. James of the Montgomery Improvement Association. "Of course, that's where the Selma to Montgomery march ended right there and I think eventually we ought to have one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. up there as well as Rosa Parks."

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange tells us he'll be traveling to Washington with a large group next week and will have the opportunity to see the new statue first hand. He says there has never really been a demand to have sculpted representation of Rosa Parks at the Capitol.

"You know, there are a lot of individuals that have been very instrumental in all of the movements in Montgomery," he says. "There's just never been a real push to have statues in downtown Montgomery but at some point in time, that might change."

Others say what Montgomery has should not be compared to what Washington D.C. has.

"I don't know that it's to be debated," says Director of Civil Rights Memorial Center Lecia Brooks. "Montgomery does an excellent job in honoring Mrs. Parks and the Civil Rights Movement. The Rosa Parks Museum and Library is a place people visit everyday so I don't think we need to worry about or measure out who has a statue and who doesn't.

Rosa Parks statue will be unveiled at the National Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. Wednesday. President Obama says he will attend the event.

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Anonymous said on Tuesday, Feb 26 at 6:42 PM

Amazing sculpture work done by Gene Daub

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