News / USA

Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks Honored with Capitol Statue

US Civil Rights Pioneer Honored With Capitol Hill Statuei
X
February 28, 2013 12:25 AM
A civil rights pioneer, and her groundbreaking action, were remembered by President Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. They honored the late Rosa Parks with a full-sized statue of her in the Capitol Building. VOA's Chris Simkins has more on the story.

US Civil Rights Pioneer Honored With Capitol Hill Statue

Chris Simkins
— A civil rights pioneer, and her groundbreaking action, were remembered by President Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.  They honored the late Rosa Parks with a full-sized statue of her in the Capitol Building.

It's a lasting tribute to Rosa Parks -- known as the mother of the U.S. civil rights movement.

Dignitaries gathered to unveil  a nearly three-meter-tall bronze sculpture of Parks in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.  It honors the African-American woman who changed American history in 1955 when she refused to move to the back of a segrated bus.

"We celebrate a seamstress slight in stature but mighty in courage. She defied the odds, and she defied injustice," Obama said.

President Obama paid tribute to her courage.

"Rosa Parks' singular act of disobediance launched a movement.  And that is why this statue belongs in this hall to remind us no matter how lofty just what it is that leadership requires, what citizenship requires," Obama said.   

It's the first full-size statue of an African-American woman in the Capitol.  It recognizes Park's signature achievement, her rejection of racial segregation in the south in the 1950s.  Congressman James Clyburn said Parks holds a rightful place among the other titans of American History also on display.

"This statue forever ordains Rosa Parks status as an icon of our nation's struggles to live out its declaration that we are all created equal," Clyburn said.

Parks made history in Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1955 when she refused to move to the back of the bus and give her seat to a white passenger. She was jailed, charged and fined.  At the time, laws in the south required racial separation in buses, restaurants and public accommodations. Her action inspired a citywide bus boycott by blacks, and it spawned nationwide efforts to end segregation. In 1991, Parks told VOA she was motivated by a simple belief.

"I always believed in the golden rule: treat others as you wish to have them treat you. And I think that is a good rule to live by," Parks said.

Parks' minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, joined her cause and helped organize the bus boycott which lasted a year until the Supreme Court struck down segregtion.

"The long awaited mandate from the United States Supreme Court concerning bus segregation came to Montgomery. Segregation in public transportation is both legally and sociologically invalid," King said.

The Parks statue was authorized by an act of Congress in 2005 after she died.

Now, this recognition at the US Capitol ensures that her life and legacy will live on.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid