A long-overdue memorial in Alabama for Rosa Parks took place six decades after the civil rights pioneer bravely refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man.
On Sunday (Dec. 1), at the Court Street Fountain in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, approximately 30 feet from where Parks got on that bus 64 years before, in 1955, a statue of her was unveiled, the Associated Press reports.
Among nearly 400 attendees was Fred Gray, the attorney who defended Parks, and many other civil rights heroes, USA Today reports.
Parks’ 1955 arrest was a key moment in the civil rights movement, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which challenged segregation on public buses.
In addition to Parks’ statue, the city of Alabama also presented two historic markers for the plaintiffs of Browder v. Gayle, which was the landmark case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses was unconstitutional, USA Today reports.
Clydetta Fulmer was the artist commissioned for the Parks memorial, which, along with the other two markers, was a partnership between the city of Montgomery, Montgomery County, the Alabama Department of Tourism and the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts, USA Today reports.
“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, ABC News reports. “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.”