She's an ordinary looking woman--in the statue and, I guess, in life. We honor Rosa Parks because she did a simple, heroic thing. She took a seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus back in 1955. When told to to get up, it was a seat for whites, Parks, who was black, refused and was arrested.
The demonstrations which followed made national figures of Parks, an unknown seamstress, and a young minister, Martin Luther King. America changed and they are part of the reaon why. A year later the Supreme Court ruled that Alabama law unconstitutional.
Parks used to talk about her exchange with the cop on the bus. "I said, 'Why do you push us around?' He said, 'I do not know but the law is the law and you are under arrest.'" Now she has a nine-foot statue in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall, the first black woman so honored.
Ironically, on the very day, at the very time the statue was dedicated the Supreme Court justices across the street were hearing arguments for and against parts of the Voting Rights Act. President Obama, at the dedication, said: "Rosa Parks tells us we all have responsibities, to ourselves and to one another."
Still true, Ms. Parks. Let's hope The Supremes remember.