The home was slated to be demolished in Detroit last year but her niece Rhea McCauley prevented that from happening by purchasing the structure and donating it to a Berlin artist named Ryan Mendoza. Mendoza reportedly dismantled the home and rebuilt it in Germany.
As part of a collaborative project organized by Mendoza and Brown University, the house will be on display in Providence, Rhode Island at the WaterFire Arts center next year. Mendoza, 45, told the Daily Mail that Parks’ home holds so much significance in this day and age with the current state of racism in America.
“If you look at the current situation in America, you have all of these monuments to the Confederacy — which are monuments to slavery,” he said. “There are very, very few monuments to the civil rights movement, which is antithetical to that,” he added.
Parks left Montgomery, Alabama, in 1957 after receiving death threats for refusing to give up her bus seat to a White man. She and her husband struggled to find work, prompting them to move to Detroit. She resided in the Detroit home with her loved ones and continued to fight for racial justice for decades. Parks, dubbed the “First Lady of Civil Rights,” died in 2005 at the age of 92.
Rhea McCauley said she’s happy to see the historic home come back to the United States. “Auntie Rosa was an American hero, and we shouldn’t have to have other countries acknowledge our heroes for us,” she told the Fresno Bee. “It’s a step in the right direction.”
Mendoza was looking for a permanent place for the home to stand in America. Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has expressed interest in housing it in its institution.
Parks’ historic house is slated to be on display in Providence from March 2018 through May 2018.
Will you make the trip to Rhode Island to see Parks’ home?