by Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
April 17, 2010 · Comments Off
Go, Ohio! That’s what I said when I saw this news item from the Akron Beacon Journal. The city has honored civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks with a street named after her — fittingly enough, right across from the municipal bus station:
Since Rosa Parks’ death in 2005, Ophelia Averitt, president of the Akron chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has urged city officials to honor the civil-rights leader.
Averitt got her wish Wednesday morning, when she and other city leaders dedicated Rosa Parks Drive, a road across from the bus terminal in downtown Akron.
”Isn’t this a great day?” Averitt asked after the street sign that will sit at Rosa Parks Drive and High Street was unveiled.
I agree. This is a wonderful gesture in so many ways: honoring a great civil rights leader, paying tribute to that chapter of American history, and also acknowledging the achievements of an outstanding American woman. Traditional naming patterns in our streets and buildings marginalize women, which is why we at EVE care so much about correcting that bias.
Congratulations to the City of Akron for this fine memorial. And congratulations, too, to Ophelia Averitt, the NAACP leader who brainstormed the project and shepherded it through. Her effort goes to show that we can make a difference.