​Rosa Parks Statue Unveiling At The U.S. Capitol​​

By: | 02/28/2013 10:17 AM ET
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Rosa Parks was honored by the nation’s most powerful politicians on Wednesday as her statue was revealed at the U.S. Capitol.

President Barack Obama praised the African-American civil rights activist as an enduring reminder of what true leadership requires, “no matter how humble or lofty our positions.”

A bust of abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth, resides in the Capitol Visitors Center. However, Parks is the first black woman to receive a full-length statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

“We do well by placing a statue of her here,” Obama said. “But we can do no greater honor to her memory than to carry forward the power of her principle and a courage born of conviction.”

Parks’ civil rights movement colleague Jesse Jackson, whose son former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sponsored the bill to place Parks’ statue in the Capitol, said Parks “fought her way into history,” and on three occasions, took literacy tests required of blacks who wanted to vote. She passed all three, Jackson said.

“Here in the hall, she casts an unlikely silhouette – unassuming in a lineup of proud stares, challenging all of us once more to look up and to draw strength from stillness,” House Speaker John Boehner said.

“Racism is a continual struggle,” said Zakiya McCauley Watts, 28, of Detroit. “We have the laws, but we have to have the mindset to back that up. People see all types of injustice happening and no one is doing anything about it,” Watts said.

Parks passed away of natural causes on October 24, 2021 in her apartment on the east side of Detroit. She was 92.