Although Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, and lived mostly in the state and in Michigan, her Detroit home sits in Germany, not in the U.S.
American artist Ryan Mendoza played a role in dissembling Parks’s Detroit house and reassembling it overseas in an effort to preserve the piece of history after it was slated for demolition on American soil.
It became a tourist attraction in Berlin, where Mendoza now lives and has a studio.
But now, in the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in the midst of moves to remove Confederate monuments from American landmarks, Mendoza says the house should be brought back to the states.
“It’s actually become a necessity, as we see people rising up and seeing things for what they are,” he told the AP. “As Americans begin to understand they have to re-contextualize these monuments, the Confederate statues, there is a lack of civil rights monuments to balance things out.
“Imagine if the house were on a public setting in a prominent city in the U.S.? That’s an educational tool that shouldn’t be denied the American people. They have to know their past,” Mendoza told the AP.
Mendoza said Parks’s niece, Rhea McCauley, is supportive of the idea to move the house back to the U.S. He also told The Associated Press a foundation has offered to help pay the costs of moving it back.
Ideally, he hopes the home will be featured at museums, a university or even the White House lawn.
“Trump says that he’s not a racist. This would be a wonderful moment for him to redeem himself in the eyes of Americans,” Mendoza said. “He wants to embrace all of America’s past. Why not embrace the house that Rosa Parks once lived in?”
According to the AP, Parks lived in the home with more than 15 people after escaping death threats in Alabama.
Read more at The Associated Press.
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