Get ready to be wowed - Grand Rapids never fails to surprise visitors with the huge variety of things to see and do here: World-renowned art, museums and historic sites for cultural vacationers. World-class golf, recreation and beaches for nature lovers. Incredible farm-to-table restaurants for foodies and wholesome "playcation" fun for families.
This bronze sculpture of Rosa Parks is a memorial to the woman known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” She is celebrated for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white passenger, an act of defiance that made her an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.
The piece was crafted by distinguished African American sculptor Ed Dwight, whose works depicting African American history appear in prominent sites across the country, including Michigan cities Battle Creek and Detroit. It may seem odd that the artist depicts Mrs. Parks standing up when she’s famous for sitting down, but he told the Grand Rapids Press that he wanted her to be remembered in a triumphant pose. “If you’re standing straight, a man can’t ride your back,” he said, quoting the Reverend Martin Luther King, Installed in 2010, the statue is one of a series of downtown sculptures honoring historic figures that have made a significant impact on Grand Rapids. The memorial to Mrs. Parks stands in front of a public square that also bears her name. It’s called Rosa Parks Circle, and it’s the next stop on our walk.