Black Alabamians left their mark

Published 11:00 pm Friday, February 22, 2013

On Wednesday, officials in Washington D.C. are unveiling a statue of an Alabamian whose actions sparked a memorable moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

Rosa Parks will be the first African American woman to be honored with a full-sized statue in the Capitol. President Barack Obama will be present at the unveiling.

In another first, the 9-foot-tall likeness of Parks will be the first full-sized statute funded by Congress since 1873.

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The civil rights pioneer refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus in 1955. Her arrest prompted the Montgomery bus boycott.

It’s fitting that the statue will be unveiled during the final days of Black History Month.

But Parks isn’t the only black Alabamian to forge ahead with groundbreaking ideas and inventions.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Hank Aaron Willie Mays, boxer Joe Louis, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Coretta Scott King, Olympian Jesse Owens, astronaut Mae Jemison and former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, The Temptations, Satchel Paige, W.C. Handy, Nat “King” Cole, Dinah Washington and the Tuskegee Airmen were all from or have ties to Alabama.

From social change to athletics to entertainment and medicine, black Alabamians have represented the state well in the progress we have made as a country.

And let’s not forget the black leaders, teachers, nurses and other community members who have left their mark here in Pike County.

As Black History Month draws to a close, let’s remember all the progress started and contributions made by our neighbors and statesmen during both during times of turmoil and peace.

We have much to be proud of because they represented us well.