Service road near bus station to be named for Rosa Parks

February 02, 2010

Just in time for Black History Month, Women's History Month, and the official "Mrs. Rosa Parks Day," Akron City Council honored history Monday night when it passed a resolution to rename the service road near the new Metro Intermodal Transfer Station, Rosa Parks Drive.

The road to be renamed is located between South Main Street and Broadway, directly across the street from the new METRO station. Planning Committee Chair Jeff Fusco, when introducing the resolution, said the location also is symbolic of Parks' courage she displayed in December of 1955 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in deeply segregated Montgomery, Ala. Fusco (At Large) recalled Parks' contribution to the Civil Rights and women's rights movements.

"Rosa Parks is recognized nationally as the mother of the Civil Rights movement in America because of what she did on Dec. 1, 1955," Fusco said. "This legislation is appropriate in terms of recognizing this accomplishment in time for Black History Month as well as Women's History Month in March."

Parks' home state of Michigan designated the first Monday following Feb. 4 as "Mrs. Rosa Parks Day."

Council President Marco Sommerville praised Akron NAACP President Ophelia Averitt for pressing for Parks to be recognized in Akron in this way.

"Mrs. Averitt has been pushing for this for quite some time," Sommerville (W-3) said. "Her persistence has paid off."

In honor of the road renaming, METRO will display historical and educational information about Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement in the transfer station starting this month.