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Celebrating the life and legacy of "social innovator" Rosa Parks

via US Postal Service

Monday would have been civil rights’ icon Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday.

Her legacy was honored with a National Day of Courage—and a day-long program at Dearborn’s Henry Ford museum.

Parks’ was remembered as a “social innovator”—someone whose commitment to civil rights and democracy continues to inspire countless people.

The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution last month honoring Parks, and Michigan Senator Carl Levin was on hand at the Henry Ford to read it.

Levin also helped unveil a new US Postal Service stamp bearing Parks’ profile, and the word “forever.” “Because Rosa Parks’ values, and her courage, will inspire us and this world forever,” Levin said.

Parks migrated to Detroit in the late 1950s, and lived the rest of her life there. The Henry Ford houses the Montgomery, Alabama bus where Parks famously refused to give up her seat

Former Henry Ford President Steven Hamp says that’s just one reason why it’s an appropriate home for that piece of history.

“Detroit has had such a fascinating part to play in the civil rights story,” Hamp said. “And because it really was the endpoint of so much of the great migration, the bus really kind of rounds that story out in a really powerful way.”

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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