By Bob Katzen
This bill requires the MBTA, during the month of February, to have an LED display or decal on each bus to recognize the accomplishments of Rosa Parks to the Civil Rights Movement. By refusing in 1955 to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Parks eventually became known as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”
“It was an honor and a privilege to both sponsor and advocate for this legislative bill which will honor an American heroine, said Sen James Timilty (D-Milton). “The sole purpose of this legislation is to commemorate the incredible courage and sacrifices exemplified by Ms. Rosa Parks. I am proud that this piece of legislation was enacted by both bodies of the Legislature.”
Parks was arrested and convicted of disorderly conduct. What followed was a 381-day boycott of the bus system by blacks that was organized by the then 26-year old Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The incident led to a Supreme Court ruling that desegregated public transportation in Montgomery. This eventually led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act that desegregated all public accommodations nationwide.