US civil rights activist hailed

US President Barack Obama has unveiled a statue of famed civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks, whose refusal to move seats on a segregated bus was a key moment in African-American's struggle for civil rights.

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks in her own words

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks told Brian Lanker for the book I Dream a World: "My desires were to be free as soon as I learned that there had been slavery of human beings.”

Parks added: "My resisting being mistreated on the bus did not begin with that particular arrest. I did a lot of walking in Montgomery."

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks in 1999. Credit: Reuters

Recalling the incident for Eyes on the Prize, a 1987 public television series on the civil rights movement, Mrs. Parks said: "When he saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up and I said, 'No, I'm not.'

"And he said, 'Well, if you don't stand up, I'm going to have to call the police and have you arrested.' I said, 'You may do that.'"

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Who was Rosa Parks?

A statue of civil rights activist Rosa Parks was unveiled today by President Barack Obama, here is a quick look at who she was:

  • Rosa Parks was born on 4 February 1913, she was a famed civil rights campaigner.
  • Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a public bus in Alabama in 1955 is regarded as a key event in the civil rights movement.
  • The US Congress called Parks 'the first lady of civil rights', 'the mother of the freedom movement' and 'the saint of an endless struggle.'
  • She died on 24 October 2005 at the age of 92.

Rosa Parks statue unveiled by Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has unveiled a statue of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Alabama, 1955.

The statue of Rosa Parks is unveiled. Credit: RTV

Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat which helped start the Montgomery bus boycott that brought Martin Luther King to prominence.

President Barack Obama was among those to unveil the statue. Credit: RTV

Parks, who died in October 2005, becomes the first black woman to be honored with a full-length statue in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.