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Rosa Parks Museum inspires and educates visitors from around the world

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Her story is one that has inspired everyone from school children to U.S. presidents and Rosa Parks' story is told every day at a place in downtown Montgomery, dedicated to making sure her legacy is never forgotten.

Rosa Parks' iconic presence is seen and felt as soon as you walk through the doors at the Troy University museum named in her honor

"The museum really must edify that which it represents, so we are constantly looking at ways to interpret, reinterpret the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Rosa Parks into the current time."

And thousands of people from around the world make their way to downtown Montgomery each year to walk in her footsteps and recount the extraordinary events that make Rosa Parks a staple in the discussion of civil rights and human rights history.

"There's a lot of museums out there, but I think that Rosa Parks is the best because I'm a woman like her and I get judged every time, like ‘oh well, you're a girl, you can't do some stuff'.  And just because she was black, she couldn't do anything, so I feel like we stand in the same position, although I can't be as courageous as she is, but I hope to be one day."

 Many of the folks who visit here have read about Parks or heard the stories of her life, but they say coming to the museum touches them in a way they never expected.

"That courage of these individuals and the strength of purpose is just breathtaking, really."

Parks was not alone in her struggles.  Of course there were others.  Probably the most well known was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  But it was this one defiant woman who, with one act, sparked a movement.

"It's so impressive that everyday people like you and me were able to understand what was fair, to stand up for what they thought was fair.  And with good leadership and good organization, really be able to change, not only their community, but the entire state and the U.S."

The modest space is packed with images, voices and video.  A lesson waits around every turn; some of them poignant and at times, painful.

"Rosa Parks' Story is one of pain but also one of strength and conviction.  And it's a story that brings people from all over the world to find out more about a person who would take a stand or keep her seat in those troubled times."

If you want to learn more about the children's wing, the museum's hours or even find out what happened to Rosa Parks when she left Montgomery, click here.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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