On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, 42 year old Rosa Parks ignored a bus driver’s demand to give up her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger after the whites-only section was filled, inspiring the African American community to boycott Montgomery buses for over a year. It was the first major direct action campaign of the post-war civil rights movement. Parks has been called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.
Shortly after the boycott, Rosa Parks moved to Detroit where she continued to remain active in the civil rights movement. In February 1987 she co-founded, with Elaine Eason Steele, the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.
For over a decade, Rosa Parks would stay at the O Street Mansion at 2020 O St NW as a guest whenever she visited Washington D.C. On Friday, May 31, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser participated at the unveiling of a Rosa Parks plaque designating the Mansion on O Street as a historic site and destination on the African American Heritage Trail. Elaine Steele; H.H. Leonards, founder and chairman of The Mansion on O Street; and D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans assisted in the unveiling.
View Jeff Malet’s photos from the unveiling ceremony by clicking on the photo icons below.