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Parks essay appears to discuss rape attempt
Question of the Day
Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger said her personal papers reveal a much more complex individual, one who spent a lifetime fighting for racial equality and against sexual violence targeting black women.
Parks is credited with inspiring the civil rights movement with her solitary act of defiance on Dec. 1, 1955, that led to the Supreme Court outlawing segregation on buses. She received the nation’s two highest honors in her lifetime, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
She died in 2005 at age 92, leaving the trove of personal correspondence, papers relating to her work for the Montgomery branch of the NAACP, tributes from presidents and world leaders, school books, family bibles, clothing, furniture and more _ about 8,000 items in all.
Guernsey’s sale is a component of a resolution to a dispute over her estate among her relatives and the institute she created in 1987.
Guernsey’s, known for its sale of iconic and celebrity collections, took an inventory of Parks‘ homes in Detroit soon after she died and is looking for an institution to buy her archive.
Parks worked on many cases with the NAACP, including the Scottsboro defense of nine black teenage boys accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. She was involved in the black power conventions in the 1970s and the anti-apartheid movement in the 1990s.
Parks wrote on anything she could get her hands on.
There are detailed notes on how African-American citizens should comport themselves during the 382-day bus boycott following her arrest and about the organization that led it, the Montgomery Improvement Association, headed by a young pastor named the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Parks‘ memoirs include one with author Jim Haskins and another with one of her attorneys in the early 1990s, but by then said McGuire, “her story was pretty much well-rehearsed, and limited to her time in Montgomery and the bus incident.”
“Her story had become mythic and iconic … I can’t imagine what that felt like for her to have a whole history of activism and political work erased and turned almost into a cartoon character,” said McGuire.
Guernsey’s has talked to about 20 museums, libraries, university and churches about buying the archive over the past three years.
“There hasn’t been a group that didn’t desperately want it but had to face the reality whether they could afford it,” Ettinger said, adding that he was currently in discussions with three separate entities _ an institution and two individuals who could buy the archive with the intention of donating it to a museum or other cultural institution.
He declined to give an exact figure but said $8 million to $10 million was in the “ballpark.”
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
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