Senator Roland W. Burris Joins Majority Leader Harry Reid and Congressional Colleagues to Honor Legacy of Rosa Parks
Today, in observance of the first week of Black History Month, Senator Roland W. Burris and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined with Mrs. Elaine Steele, co-founder of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, to honor of the life and legacy of Rosa Parks on her 97th birthday. Also in attendance at the event were Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick (D-MI), Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL).
On December 1, 1955, while aboard a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her refusal to move resulted in her arrest and sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which one year later led to a United States Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional. Proclaimed by the U.S. Congress as the "Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement", Rosa Parks' single act of courage and defiance continues to impact the lives of citizens around the world.
"Black History Month is a time in which we come together to celebrate the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices African-Americans have made towards civil rights and equality," said Senator Burris. "On Rosa Parks' 97th birthday, we remember her quiet dignity and defiant bravery that helped spark the movement for civil rights for African-Americans all across the nation. Rosa Parks' story is one that will continue to inspire and will not be forgotten."
Following remarks at the event, Mrs. Steele presented each Member of Congress with a sustainably-grown "Freedom Rose", named in honor of Rosa Parks.