Saturday will mark the inaugural observance of Rosa Parks Day in Alabama, and Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum has events planned as a part of the local celebration.
The Alabama Legislature approved a bill introduced by Rep. Laura Hall and Sen. Vivian Figures, declaring Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day. 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 Saturday and feature a special exhibition including rare objects from the museum’s collection.
A program, beginning at 10 a.m., will honor the legacy of Rosa Parks and its positive impact on the City of Montgomery and the State of Alabama. The program, which will be held in the museum’s auditorium, will include video-recorded remarks from U.S. Sen. Doug Jones and messages from Montgomery city officials, as well as the screening of a short film featuring a rare interview with Barbara Cross, a survivor of the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church. The film was produced by Breanna and Brooke Bennett, who attended the Rosa Parks Museum’s 2018 “Architects of Change” Summer Camp.
The commemoration continues at 3:50 p.m., Saturday, as the Museum has collaborated with St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Mrs. Parks was a member, to host an assembly in the museum’s auditorium.
The Rosa Parks Museum is located at 252 Montgomery Street in downtown Montgomery. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Dr. Felicia Bell (Director of the Rosa Parks Museum) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other observances planned throughout the day include:
• 8 a.m., Unity Breakfast at Saint Paul AME Church
• 11 a.m., Performance of “The Spoken Word” by Troy University students and Unity Summit, Saint Paul AME Church
• Noon, Tribute to Mrs. Parks, Alabama State University’s Tullibody Hall
• 3 p.m., Commemoration Program, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
• 3:50 p.m., Rosa Parks Museum’s Commemoration Program, followed by a program with the Honorable Keith Watkins and the Honorable Myron Thompson, Rosa Parks Museum Auditorium
• 5:30 p.m., Closing Ceremony and Unveiling of the official Rosa Parks marker, Saint Paul AME Church.
An ecumenical service will also be held at 10:30 a.m., Sunday at Saint Paul AME Church, as a part of the celebration.