Rosa Parks pictures, writings released to Library of Congress - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rosa Parks pictures, writings released to Library of Congress

Rosa Parks being booked (Photo Source: Archives) Rosa Parks being booked (Photo Source: Archives)
WASHINGTON (WMC) -

Library of Congress unveiled thousands of new pictures and manuscripts from the mother of the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks.

Parks was the National Civil Rights Museum's first honoree back in 1992. Her contributions to the civil rights movement cannot be understated.

Back in in the beginning of the civil rights movement, Parks was a petite, popular, and soft-spoken secretary for the NAACP.

In 1955, she became the catalyst behind the Martin Luther King Jr.-led Montgomery bus boycott. Parks challenged segregation by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger.

That act of defiance is dramatized at a bus exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Historians in Memphis are excited about Parks new exhibit which will soon be open to the public at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

"At ages 6 to 7 [children] are learning about the origins of the civil rights movement, and the importance of organizing in the civil rights community," Ryan Jones said.

Jones is a historian at Memphis' National Civil Rights Museum. He's very excited about the Library of Congress' decision to honor Parks with an exhibit.

"Courts ruled that segregation on these buses was unconstitutional," Jones said. "Now it's largely known as the first major accomplishment of the modern civil rights movement and of Dr. King as a civil rights leader."

The new Library of Congress exhibit will, for the first time in history, give researchers and the public access to Parks' archive of letters, writings, personal notes, and photographs.

A protracted legal battle between her heirs and friends kept the collection from public view for years. But in 2014, philanthropist Howard Buffett bought the collection and placed it on long-term loan at the National Library of Congress.

In the end, Rosa Parks paid a heavy price for her activism. She and her husband got fired from their jobs and eventually moved to Detroit.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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