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Parks to be honored with Freedom rose

November 30, 2007

A new, bright-red cut rose called Freedom in honor of Rosa Parks is scheduled to be presented at a 10 a.m. ceremony today at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

The bouquet rose is the first in a series called Freedom roses being developed to honor people for their extraordinary achievements.

The Freedom roses are sold exclusively through a Web retailer specializing in eco-friendly products. The roses are available for $49.95 a dozen plus shipping. But a spokesman said Thursday that the roses are expected to be sold at local stores in the near future.

The new rose is being presented by the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development and to honor the 52nd anniversary of Rosa Parks' civil rights legacy. will donate 10% of online sales to the institute. The roses are grown through an international program called Veriflora that requires environmental and fair-labor practices.

According to, U.S. District Judge Damon Keith, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and actress Cicely Tyson are among those expected to attend the event.

On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Ala., to a white person and she was jailed. That sparked a citywide bus boycott that lasted more than a year, until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled bus segregation illegal. Many consider these events the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.m

Parks moved to Detroit in 1957 and lived here until her death in 2005.

Contact MARTY HAIR at

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