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The rose to freedom

Hybrid named in honor of late civil rights pioneer

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/29/07

In life she was awarded medals, her seminal action inspired songs.

Now, as the anniversary of her historic stand nears, Rosa Parks gets a flower. A big, deep, blood-red rose to be specific, a Freedom rose.

To commemorate the 52nd anniversary of Rosa Park's refusal to give up her bus seat, a rose has been named in her honor.

The tea rose is being sold online through and through specialty florist shops in metro Atlanta. Ten percent of proceeds will go to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroit.

Saturday marks the day 52 years ago when Parks, a seamstress and NAACP branch secretary in Montgomery, Ala., refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. That moment is now recognized as the birth of the modern American civil rights movement.

The Parks rose is not a new hybrid but was named for the civil rights pioneer this year under an agreement with her foundation, the German grower Rosen Tantau and Organic Style, an online green retailer. Parks joins famous ladies such as Lady Bird Johnson, Diana Princess of Wales and Barbara Bush with a namesake blossom.

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