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The Rosa Parks Bus at the Henry Ford Museum – hideous paradox or redemptive subversion?

February 4, 2016

Reposting this old blog for Rosa Parks’ Birthday



Yesterday we hopped across the border to visit the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan.  I’d never been before, to this place so familiar to most of the rest of the party.

One of its star exhibits is the very bus, bus No. 2857, that Rosa Parks refused to stand up on, in Montgomery Alabama, back in  1955,  helping to accelerate and intensify the ongoing civil rights movement across the United States.

It’s a good exhibit.  The bus is fully restored to its 1950s condition and is placed in the middle of displays illustrating a march wider context to civil rights activism.  You can sit in the bus, in the very seat if you wish, and listen to a recording of Rosa Parks herself describing the events of that fateful day.  I’m glad I went.

The presence of this bus in a museum devoted to Henry Ford is, of course, highly…

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