Metropolitan AME Salutes Centennial Anniversary of Deaconess Rosa Parks’ Birth
Mrs. Rosa Parks, a civil rights icon who is called the “Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement,” has a special place in the hearts of members of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination. To AME’s, she is Deaconess Rosa Parks, a longtime member of the denomination and holder of the venerated position of deaconess.
Metropolitan hosted the national memorial service for Mrs. Parks in 2005. So there is special joy as AME’s join in the national celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday on Monday, February 4.
While Mrs. Parks received many honors, late in her lifetime, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton in 1996, several extraordinary events will mark the centennial anniversary of her birth a century ago in Tuskegee, Alabama.
*A bronze, full-size statue of Mrs. Parks will be installed and dedicated in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. She will become the first African American woman whose lilkeness is depicted in the marbled hall and so honored by the nation’s top legislators. It represents the first commission by Congress for a full-size statue since the 1870s, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, which oversaw the design competition for the statue.
*The Henry Ford Museum is celebrating what would have been her birthday with a National Day of Courage. “Mrs. Parks didn’t know that she would contribute to the escalation of the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man on Dec. 1, 1955, but instead was acting upon a courageous response to her instincts,” wrote the Museum. Mrs. Parks later said of that day, “When I made that decision, I knew that I had the strength of my ancestors with me.”
In 2001 The Henry Ford became the home to Montgomery, Ala., bus No. 2857, the very bus on which Mrs. Parks refused to give up her seat. The bus has become a symbol for courage and strength .
*A new Rosa Parks Forever stamp from the United States Postal Service will be dedicated.
Metropolitan AME is proud to join the nation in saluting this heroine of the civil rights movement upon whose shoulders we stand.
National Day of Courage
Take it forward on 2.4.13 by standing up and speaking out in honor of Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday. Match fear with strength during the National Day of Courage.