Milwaukee ‘Saves A Seat’ In Honor Of Rosa Parks On Every County Bus
Photo credit: Milwaukee County Transit System

On December 1, 1955, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. Now 64 years to the date, the Milwaukee Country Transit System honors the Presidential Medal of Freedom Awardee with a reserved seat on each and every bus.

“Rosa Parks was a trailblazer who was guided by the North Stars of equality, justice and compassion to make our country better and stronger,” Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said in a statement obtained by MLive.com.

“As we commemorate Rosa Parks on our buses, we must remember our own obligations to carry her legacy forward and correct the historical and present injustices in Milwaukee County. All of us have a responsibility to honor the work of our civil rights leaders, and to do our part to continue, grow and advance our efforts to achieve racial equity and make Milwaukee the healthiest county in Wisconsin.”

Rosa Parks on a bus. Milwaukee now honors her legacy on their fleet of buses.
Rosa Parks seated toward the front of the bus, Montgomery, Alabama, 1956. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Park’s memory is celebrated with a single red rose and a sign that says “This seat is reserved in honor of Rosa Parks.” There is also a message about the national treasure’s courageous act. The MCTS campaign lasts for three days, from December 1 through December 3, and can be seen on every bus within the transit system’s fleet. 

“By refusing to give into racism and oppression, Rosa Parks demonstrated bravery that continues to inspire us more than six decades later,” Nicole M. Brookshire, Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs told MLive.

“This tribute serves as a reminder, to the progress made and also the critical work of driving racial equity to confront institutional and systemic racism across Milwaukee County and in the region.”

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that the city of Milwaukee has paid tribute to the late activist who held strong ties to the midwest.

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