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Rosa Parks Arrest Warrant Found in Courthouse Safe

Rosa Parks Arrest Warrant Found in Courthouse Safe

(Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 June 2018 10:47 AM

Rosa Park's arrest warrant has been found in a courthouse safe among other legal records from the Montgomery bus boycott, including some related to Martin Luther King.

The bus boycatt highlighted the struggle against segregation in the U.S. during the mid ‘50s, and until now historians thought they had all the surviving legal records and documents relating to the era.

When Parks was arrested and fined in December 1955 for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white man, she didn’t realize her actions would lead to huge civil-rights protests that would ultimately alter the course of human rights, The History Channel noted.

What immediately ensued was a year-long protest, famously dubbed the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which led to an integrated bus system as well as the emergence of prominent American civil rights leader King.

A courthouse intern stumbled upon a trove of forgotten documents from the boycott during a recent housecleaning project, The New York Times reported.

Maya A. McKenzie came across the collection in a room-sized safe.

Among the records was the arrest warrant stating that Rosa Parks "did refuse to take a seat assigned to her race," as well as an appeal bond for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Both prominent figures were clients of 87-year-old Fred Gray, a young lawyer at the time.

"Some of these I've never seen," he told the Times, while sifting through the documents.

One folder contains records of the proceedings in the City of Montgomery v. Rosa Parks case, with writing on the back indicating that Parks had been found guilty and had been sentenced to pay $10 or do hard labor.

Another folder contains a court filing on behalf of King, which argues that authorities were enforcing a statute in a way that "constitutes a denial of the equal protection of the laws," the Times said.

The records are now on loan to the Alabama State University and will be made public online this summer.

McKenzie said she was astounded by the discovery.

"Connecting that history that I learned sophomore year to the tangible object that represented all of that hard work — the fortitude and the foresight and the determination of those people to create a society that would be embracing of all — that was one of those full-circle moments that you can’t script," she told the Times.

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Rosa Park's arrest warrant has been found in a courthouse safe among other legal records from the Montgomery bus boycott, including some related to Martin Luther King.
rosa parks, arrest, warrant, safe
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2018-47-27
Wednesday, 27 June 2018 10:47 AM
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