Rosa Parks Museum, Howard Buffett’s Gift, And Courage

Earlier this year, I visited the Rosa Parks Library and Museum in Montgomery:

Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery AL

Which is at the bus stop that Rosa Parks refused to move (not the one at which she originally got on the bus).  

Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery AL

No photography is allowed in the museum, which was disappointing.  The tour — there’s a film, followed by a docent-led tour — lasts about 45 minutes.

Only in the lobby could I take pictures; there was this small, excellent art quilt by Riché Deianne Richardson
Art by Riche Deianne Richardson at Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery AL

An interview with Riché:

In August, a collection of more than a thousand Rosa Parks items, which had previously been warehoused due to legal dispute with heirs and an educational institution she had set up, was purchased by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (Howard is Warren Buffett’s son), and the Foundation announced this month that they will be on loan for a decade to the Library of Congress.  From the NYT:
Mr. Buffett, who acquired the collection through his foundation, told The Detroit Free Press that the purchase had been prompted by a television news report about how the items had been in storage since 2006, unavailable to scholars.

“I’m only trying to do one thing: preserve what’s there for the public’s benefit,” he said. “I thought about doing what Rosa Parks would want. I doubt that she would want to have her stuff sitting in a box with people fighting over them.”

Copper thieves broke into Rosa Parks’ former Montgomery home in Cleveland Court (now Parks Place) last month.   There have been plans to improve the way visitors can see her former apartment, but now with the damage, that project is temporarily on hold.  The AP article here.

The bus Rosa Parks was arrested on is at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Rosa Parks' Home
This pic from our visit in 2011 — one of the homes Rosa Parks grew up in, in Henry County, Alabama just outside Abbeville.

One of my favorite quotes of hers (and so true); letterpress by Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.:

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr's Letterpress Card: Rosa Parks

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