4/11/2017

What Is Rosa Parks’ House Doing In Berlin?


Detroit planned to demolish the home, so now it’s in an artist’s yard in Germany.


If you want to visit the home where civil rights legend Rosa Parks lived, you have a trip ahead of you — all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. That’s because her home is in the backyard of an American artist living in Germany.

It seems like back-of-the-bus treatment for the black woman who had the guts in 1955 to refuse to give up her seat to a white man in Alabama and go to the back of the bus. Instead, she gave birth to the civil rights movement.

Why is her home in Berlin? The short answer is that Detroit planned to destroy it.

When Parks’ niece Rhea McCauley found out, she paid $500 for the home, which Parks moved to in 1957, and cast around for ways to save it. She reached out to artist Ryan Mendoza, who happened to be in Detroit at the time and had previously moved a house from the city to Europe for an art project.

Though they both appealed to Detroit’s mayor to protect the building, they said the mayor had no interest. So Mendoza and volunteers disassembled the home, packed it in shipping containers, transported it to Germany, and put it back together in an expensive operation that took several months, reported Deutsche Welle....more