Rosa Parks Library Of Congress Exhibit Reveals Fallout From Bus Encounter

December 5, 2019
Rosa Parks

Donna Terek, The Detroit News, 1993, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.


Photos, letters, personal reflections and a family bible belonging to Rosa Parks will be on display at the Library of Congress starting Thursday. 

The “In Her Own Words” exhibit will tell the story of Parks’ journey on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, the library said. Through handwritten notes and reflections, the exhibit will take visitors through her early life, experiences as an activist, the Montgomery bus boycott and the fallout from her arrest. 

Political buttons and brochures, honors like the Spingarn Medal citation, Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal and other documents are part of the exhibit. 

Parks’ reflection on refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger and a manuscript that explains Parks’ experience with a white boy who threatened to hit her will also be displayed. 

“Rosa Parks lived a life dedicated to equal rights and social justice, and she helped change the country with the example she set,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a statement. “Our new exhibition is an important milestone for Rosa Parks to tell her story for new generations through her own words and pictures now preserved at the Library of Congress.”

Through a gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in 2016, the collection became permanent after being placed on loan. It features 90 items.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, it says.

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Related: Rosa Parks Was Honored With A Statue In Montgomery