Hundreds of people packed the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on February 4 for a special ceremony. The United States Postal Service unveiled a new “Forever Stamp” honoring the 100th birthday of civil rights champion and adopted Detroiter, Rosa Parks. The national release of the commemorative piece took place right here in the Motor City.
“Mother Parks was a revolutionary,” said Detroit City Council Member Joann Watson, during the festivities. She along with several other dignitaries spoke about her work in the South and here in Detroit, long after her famous protest in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 5, 1955.
Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger lead to a 381-day bus boycott that many believe was a spark for America’s civil rights movement. Parks moved to Detroit in 1956 and remained active, never losing her quiet strength, according to family members, friends and those that knew her best.
In addition to the official unveiling at The Wright, The Henry Ford also held daylong recognition events and even allowed people to have their photos taken on the historic bus where Parks made her historical stance. The bus is on display at the museum in Dearborn.
The special issue Forever Stamp costs $0.46 today. The term “forever” refers to the fact that these stamps can always be used to mail a First Class letter, regardless of what the postal rate might go up to in years to come.
During the unveiling Congressman Gary Peters, D-Mich., also mentioned a Rosa Parks statue will be installed later this year in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall – the first statue of an African-American female to be installed in the hall.
Rosa Parks Stamp Unveiling Photos:
Elaine Steele and Judge Adam Shakoor
Crowd around the Rosa Parks stamp at the Charles H. Wright Museum
The entire series of Rosa Parks commemorative products from the Postal Service
Mildred Gaddis of WCHB broadcasted live from the Rosa Parks unveiling