The “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rosa Parks‘ (pictured) memorabilia has been archived at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and the riveting display can now be viewed by researchers and the public as well.
Letters, photographs, writings, manuscripts, and personal notes have been carefully curated and are now displayed in order to provide an even clearer picture of the caliber of woman Parks was. She was obviously more than just the seamstress who refused to give up her seat to a white person in the colored section of a crowded segregated bus on that fateful day of December 1, 1955.
Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger and her subsequent arrest for not doing so set the stage for a year-long bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama that helped to tear down segregation. The move also helped to focus the spotlight on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who led many of the protests for equality in the south.
A legal battle between Parks’ heirs and friends delayed the archive for a number of years. Last year however, Howard Buffett, the son of billionaire investment guru, Warren, purchased hundreds of the items that belonged to Parks that had been sitting unseen for years in two warehouses, one in Detroit and the other in New York City. Buffet wanted to share his Parks’ finds because he felt they belonged to all Americans. The collection is on loan to the Library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
Parks, who passed away in 2005 at age 92 was and still is a beloved iconic civil rights figure. Visitors to the Library of Congress will be treated to such gems as her Presidential Medal of Freedom, additional honors and awards, a postcard signed by Dr. King, documents from countless civil rights meetings, writings about life as a black woman in the South penned by Parks, letters from presidents, articles of clothing, personal and public photos and other artifacts.
Library of Congress Rosa Parks Collection will open to the public on February 4. For more information, visit the Web site visit www.loc.gov.