Muskogee and Tulsa remember Rosa Parks

Wednesday, November 2nd 2005, 11:20 am
By: News On 6

Oklahomans who couldn't make it to Detroit for the funeral of Rosa Parks celebrated her life at a special service in Muskogee.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says after the Oklahoma City bombing, Rosa Parks asked to come to Oklahoma. Wednesday, the woman who took her on a tour of Oklahoma, organized a memorial service in Muskogee.

Rosa Parks was remembered in speeches, in song and in prayer. Both young and old filled downtown Muskogee's Roxy Theater to honor a woman who became a pioneer in a fledgling civil rights movement. Many who attended Wednesday had met Parks on her trip to Oklahoma and now feel a responsibility to carry her work forward.

Toni Redo: "I was just moved by the whole movement because without her efforts and determination, we probably wouldn't have integration like we have it today."

Muskogee High School Senior Braycia Dedmon: "We have a lot more freedom, like white and black kids can come together; it's not about, 'oh, whites here, blacks there.' Everyone's together, and it's integrated, and that's the biggest change."

Memorial service organizer, Cassandra Gaines: "It means a lot, because you know, a lot of the kids, they heard, but they didn't know. Maybe they will walk away with the sense that it is something, the movement is something."

Rosa Parks was remembered in a unique way in Tulsa. Tulsa Transit honored the civil rights heroine with a black ribbon in the first seat of every city bus.

Along with the ribbon was a sign that read “this seat is reserved for no one. Tulsa honors the woman who took a stand, by sitting down."