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MATA leaves a seat open for Rosa Parks on all of their buses Thursday

The move honors the 68th anniversary of Rosa Parks' famous civil rights protest.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) announced Wednesday they are keeping a seat open to honor the life and legacy of Rosa Parks. 

Parks, the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” will be celebrated by MATA in a tribute by reserving the first passenger seat on every MATA vehicle on Thursday, December 1.

Each of these seats will have a commemorative sign displayed on them, honoring both Parks’ legacy and her dedication to the Civil Rights Movement. 

“MATA wants to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Rosa Parks’ tremendous contribution to the Civil Rights Movement,” said MATA’s Chief of Staff Bacarra Mauldin, “Her courage, grace, dignity, and refusal to tolerate inequality transformed our entire nation.”

On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to move from a bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, that was "reserved" for white passengers only, according to city "law". Parks' refusal and ultimate arrest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, which, after more than a year, led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation on public transportation. 

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