The new Rosa Parks Forever stamp being launched nationwide in Dearborn, Mich., and Detroit on Feb. 4, 2013, the 100th anniversary of her birth. Image received Jan. 22, 2013, from the United States Postal system.
(Photo: USPS via Detroit Free Press)
DETROIT -- In honor of Rosa Parks, the U.S. Postal Service on Monday morning is releasing a commemorative forever stamp with her image.
It will first be unveiled during a birthday breakfast celebration and live radio broadcast Monday at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. A second unveiling will take place later that afternoon at The Henry Ford museum complex in Dearborn, Mich., where activities are going on all day in honor of Parks.
In the spirit of Parks' 100th birthday, here are a few facts not commonly known about her, taken from the new book "The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks," by Jeanne Theoharis (Beacon, $27.95)
-- Parks had been thrown off the bus a decade earlier by this same bus driver for refusing to pay in the front and go around to board in the back. Parks knew well the cost of bus resistance. A neighbor had been killed after an incident on the bus. Numerous others had been beaten and abused for taking stands on the bus.
--She had been working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for more than a decade before the bus incident. She was one of the first women to become actively involved in the NAACP in Alabama.
--Parks' arrest had dire financial consequences for her family. She and her husband both lost their jobs. Even as she made appearances across the country, Parks and her family were at times nearly destitute.
--Parks worked alongside the black power movement particularly around issues such reparations, black history, anti-police brutality, freedom for black political prisoners, independent black political power, economic justice and an end to the war in Vietnam.
--Malcolm X was one of the men she most admired.
Cassandra Spratling, Detroit Free Press