Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum will celebrate what would have been the Civil Rights icon’s 111th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 3 with free admission to the museum and a special program featuring Mrs. Parks’ niece and author Sheila McCauley Keys.
Free admission will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the 1950s-era Montgomery City Bus will also be on hand for guests to visit. Other activities include: a birthday card craft time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., story time with Wanda Battle beginning at 10 a.m. and mini cupcakes in the Museum’s atrium beginning at 10 a.m., while supplies last. There will be live music from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the Montgomery Housing Authority will be on site during the day with giveaways and information about Mrs. Parks’ apartment.
“The Color of Courage is Purple,” a program featuring Keys will be held in the Museum’s auditorium at 2 p.m. Keys is the seventh niece of Mrs. Parks, and in 2013, was featured in PBS’s live television broadcast of the National Day of Courage, celebrating what would have been Mrs. Parks’ 100th birthday. That same year, Keys joined then President Obama and legislators in unveiling a statue of Rosa Parks in the Capitol Rotunda.
An active voice in efforts to preserve her aunt’s legacy, Keys wrote “Our Auntie Rosa: The Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons” in 2015 with award-winning journalist and author Eddie B. Allen, Jr.
“We hope all will join us for this special celebration as we honor the life and legacy Mrs. Parks,” said Donna Beisel, Director of Operations. “As we celebrate what would have been her 111th birthday, we remember all of the contributions she made throughout her lifetime in the fight for justice and civil rights.”
Located on the University’s Montgomery Campus on the spot of Mrs. Parks’ historic 1955 arrest, the Rosa Parks Museum opened on Dec. 1, 2000, with the mission of interpreting the story and legacy of Mrs. Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott for future generations. Constructed on the site of the former Empire Theater, the museum has become a major landmark in the revitalization of downtown Montgomery and annually draws visitors from throughout the country and around the world.