Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum will commemorate Rosa Parks Day on Monday, Dec. 2, with free admission, musical performances, arts and crafts and story time for children.
The inaugural commemoration was held last year after the Alabama Legislature unanimously approved a bill, introduced by Rep. Laura Hall and Sen. Vivian Figures, declaring Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day in the state. The bill’s passage made Alabama one of four states to designate holidays in honor of Parks, and marked the first holiday in Alabama to honor a woman.
Dec. 1 marks the anniversary of Parks’ historic 1955 arrest after she refused to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white male. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott that eventually desegregated the city’s public bus system.
The Rosa Parks Museum will offer complimentary admission to visitors on Monday, Dec. 2, and features live percussion and musical performances by Duron Hale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors will be able to decorate a holiday ornament in the museum’s Charles Cahn Baum Atrium. Children’s story time, featuring various children’s books, will be held in the museum’s auditorium from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, the 1950s-era Montgomery city bus will be on display in front of the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Events commemorating Rosa Parks Day will be held in Montgomery throughout the weekend.
A Community Unity Breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, 706 E. Patton Ave. in Montgomery, featuring guest speaker Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed. A Unity Walk will follow at 10 a.m. from the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church to the Rosa Parks Museum.
On Sunday, Dec. 1, a statue honoring Rosa Parks and new historic markers commemorating the landmark case, Browder v. Gayle, will be unveiled on Montgomery Plaza at the Court Street fountain at 1 p.m. The unveiling ceremony is sponsored by the City of Montgomery, the Montgomery County Commission, the State of Alabama Department of Tourism, and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts.
The Rosa Parks Day Ecumenical Service will follow at 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul AME Church with guest speaker Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, bishop for the 14th District of the AME Church. Her historic election in 2000 represented the first time in the more than 200-year history of the AME Church a woman had obtained the level of Episcopal office. She also became the first woman President of the Council of Bishops, the first woman to serve as chair of the General Conference Commission and the first woman Host Bishop for the 49th session of the General Conference in June 2012. In 2015, the Huffington Post named her as one of the 50 most powerful women religious leaders in the world.
A celebration of the 64th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott will round out the 2019 Rosa Parks Day activities. Presented by Alabama State University, the event will be held at First Baptist Church, 347 N. Ripley St., at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2. Dr. Julius Scruggs will serve as the keynote speaker for the event. Dr. Scruggs retired earlier this year after serving 42 years as pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville.