Rosa Parks Lived Here

That’s what the historic marker says: Rosa Parks Lived Here.  It’s just a few miles outside Abbeville:

Rosa Parks' Home

The historic marker reads:
Civil rights pioneer Rosa McCauley Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Shortly after her birth her parents, James and Leona Edwards McCauley, moved here to a 260 acre farm owned by her grandparents, Anderson and Louisa McCauley. Her father, a builder, designed and constructed the Henry County Training School for black students in 1914. After a few years in Henry County, Rosa and her mother moved to Pine Level, Alabama to live with her maternal grandparents while her father went north seeking new building opportunities.

Rosa McCauley married Richard Parks, of Pine Level, in 1932. She returned to Henry County in 1944 on behalf of the NAACP to investigate the alleged rape of a young black woman by seven white youths. Rosa McCauley Parks gained national attention on December 1, 1955 when she refused to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white man. Her refusal to go to the back of the bus sparked a successful bus boycott that earned Rosa McCauley Parks the title of “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement in America”. She died at her home in Detroit, Michigan on October 24, 2005.

Douglas Brinkley wrote a biography of Rosa Parks several years ago for Penguin (the NYT did a book review on it).  In the book, he mentions that Rosa’s mother didn’t get along with her in-laws and found the conditions hard here, with this home so overcrowded, including the fact that there were four children sharing a bedroom with a dirt floor.

USA Today reports that earlier this month in Detroit, a lawyer sued a probate judge and two other court-appointed attorneys over Rosa Parks’ estate, that the judge “conspired with probate lawyers John Chase Jr. and Melvin Jefferson Jr., enabling the pair to rack up more than $507,000 in mostly unnecessary legal fees that drained Parks’ estate of its cash, leaving it $88,000 in debt.

Cohen also said Burton, through secret hearings and improper rulings, allowed the pair to concoct a bogus breach of confidentiality dispute.

Cohen said the judge used the dispute to strip Elaine Steele and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute that she created with Parks of their share of Parks’ property, said to be worth up to $8 million.”

In happier news, a stone carving of her was installed at Washington National Cathedral this month.

On RideOn buses in Bethesda, Maryland, these plaques are installed:
Dedicated to the memory of Rosa Parks
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0, thank you voteprime for use.

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