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MISSION and Press Kit

Rosa Parks non violent refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger in Alabama in 1955 was a key moment in American history.

 

After fleeing the South, Rosa Parks found refuge in this house, which was owned by her only sibling Sylvester McCauley on 2672 S Deacon St, Detroit, Michigan.

 

She lived the tiny wooden structure at times with her 13 nieces and nephews, her mother Leona, her brother Sylvester and his wife.

Rosa Parks was a seamstress. She struggled to find employment in Detroit for 2 years.

 

 

The little 3 bedroom house was eventually placed on a demolition list by the City of Detroit. Rhea McCauley, Rosa Parks' niece who was one of the children living in the house with her aunt Rosa, bought it from the city for 500USD in 2014.

 

After struggeling to find instituational support she reached out to American Artist Ryan Mendoza, who had gained some attention with his prior art projects The Invitation and The White House incorporating houses.

 

Rosa Parks Family home was shipped to Berlin, Germany, where it was rebuild by Mendoza in his backyard. Over the course of one year this project gained international attention.

Even though German institutions offered their help to protect the structure it was Ryan and Rhea's hope that the house could return to the States and find a permanent home within the US.

 

In 2018 it was invited by Brown University, who due to their own ties to the slave trade the Department of Slavery and Justice was planning a 3-month exhibition around Rosa Parks and her achievements.

 

Brown pulled fundings after a public statement by the artist suggesting that Brown University rename itself 'Rosa Parks University'.

(Link to Artist statement, published March 8th, 2018, 8:57 AM)

 

Rosa Parks Family home is on display at WaterFire Artcenter, Providence Rhode Island until June 2nd. 2018.

 

 

 

Rosa McCauley Parks aurrounded by her family in 2672 S Deacon St

copyright McCauley Family

Rosa Parks family home on 2672 S Deacon St, Detroit, ca. 1950

copyright McCauley Family

Interview with Leona McCauley, Rosa Parks' mother, Detroit Freepress, July 1964

Interview with Rosa Parks, Detroit Freepress, Dec. 1961

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