Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum tells the stories of women who played key roles within the Montgomery Bus Boycott through a pair of traveling exhibits. From June 21 to July 2, these profound exhibits will be available for public viewing in Oneonta at The Little Brick Church.
A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services funds the two exhibits. Praised for their historical accuracy and moving content, the displays are being shown in schools, universities, churches, public libraries, and museums across the country.
The first exhibit, “Tired of Giving In: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” provides an overview of the life and activism of Parks and the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The second, “Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” utilizes oral history interviews, digitized archival material, and court documents. It highlights important grassroots political organizations such as the Women’s Political Council and tells the stories of 12 heroic female figures. Among these are Jo Ann Robinson, Aurelia Browder, Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, Lucille Times, Susie McDonald, Virginia Durr, Georgia Gilmore, Coretta Scott King, Juanita Abernathy, Juliette Hampton Morgan, and Jean Graetz.
The 12-panel exhibits are interactive and descriptive with photos and graphics to depict life during the Civil Rights era. Educational resources such as lesson plans for teachers and a scavenger hunt will be available online.
Donna Beisel, assistant director of the museum, is passionate about the exhibits and their power to influence communities. She said, “The mission of the Rosa Parks Museum is to honor the legacy of Mrs. Parks and showcase the lessons of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the many who stood firmly to bring about change. We are pleased to be able to share the stories of these courageous women across the country through these traveling exhibits.”
The Rosa Parks Museum, located on Troy University’s Montgomery campus, was opened on Dec. 1, 2000, with the mission of preserving and interpreting the story and lasting legacy of Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott for future generations. The museum stands on the historical spot where Parks was arrested for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white male in 1955.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. The agency aims to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant donation and research help libraries and museums provide valuable educational material to communities across the nation.
You can view the exhibit from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Little Brick Church, 204 Second Street North in Oneonta. There is no cost. For additional information, contact the Oneonta Public Library at 205-274-7641.