City officials in Montgomery, Alabama, honored civil rights activist Rosa Parks by unveiling a statue in the city 64 years after she was first arrested for refusing to give up her seat in the white section of a passenger bus when segregation was the law at the time.
Officials honored Parks with a life-size bronze statue in Montgomery just feet away from where she boarded the city bus, ABC News reported. The statue depicts Parks standing tall, wearing a long coat while clutching a purse.
Her December 1, 1955, arrest was the foundation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was a demonstration organized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The demonstrations eventually led to the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which integrated public spaces across the country.
“To stand here today as Montgomery’s mayor where Mrs. Rosa Parks stood defiant against systemic injustice infecting our community and our country speaks to the magnitude of this moment and the progress achieved in our city,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said in a statement Sunday.
“This progress, coupled with the dawn of a new era of reconciliation and revitalization, underscores Montgomery’s status as the Birthplace of Civil Rights and a light unto the world,” he continued.
The Montgomery Advertiser reported that Reed, along with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, unveiled the statue in a public ceremony where about 400 people attended. Local artist Clydetta Fulmer was the creator of the statue.
The city of Montgomery, the Alabama Department of Tourism, Montgomery County, and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts all pitched in to make the memorial happen, AL.com reported.