KAT Honors Rosa Parks with an Open Seat on Every Bus

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KAT Honors Rosa Parks with an Open Seat on Every Bus, Dec. 1, 2023

Rosa Parks seat on KATOn Friday, Dec. 1, KAT will pay tribute to Rosa Parks by keeping one seat open on every bus.

The seat will feature a placard recognizing the contribution made by Parks in the fight for racial justice and equality, and how the small act of sitting down on a city bus changed the course of history in the United States.

Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955 after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in defiance of 'Jim Crow' segregation laws.

Her action led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a 381-day boycott of the city’s transit system by African Americans which led to the Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation on public transportation systems unconstitutional. The boycott helped end segregation of public facilities in the United States.

“Rosa Parks’s seemingly small act of courage in the fight for racial justice had enormous consequences,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “We honor that courage and the work of past civil rights leaders, while recognizing the responsibility we all have to continue to advance efforts to achieve racial equity across our city and our nation.”

Rosa Parks sitting on bus historical photo