Civil rights leader Rosa Parks has been honoured with a commemorative statue in the US Capitol building in Washington DC.
Parks’ statue is a part of the Capitol Art Collection which hosts 180 pieces of art; the statue will stand among nine other females featured in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Parks is the first black woman to be honoured.
Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a segregated Alabama bus for a white passenger in 1955 sparked a boycott that galvanised the movement for equal rights for black people in Montgomery and nationwide.
Unlike nearby statues of men standing, the one of Parks shows her seated – the position of quiet resistance that led to her arrest.
President Barack Obama joined congressional leaders from both political parties to unveil the statue of Parks, who died in 2005 at age 92.
“We celebrate a seamstress, slight in stature but mighty in courage,” Obama said in his remarks.
“She lived a life of activism, but also a life of dignity and grace. And in a single moment, with the simplest of gestures, she helped change America – and change the world,” he said.
“Today, she takes her rightful place among those who’ve shaped this nation’s course.”