MONTGOMERY – Troy University’s Rosa Parks Library and Museum celebrated its eighth anniversary on Monday, Dec. 1 with a presentation of “She’s Got a Ticket to Ride: An Interview with Mrs. Rosa Parks.”
Doreen Griffin of Trenton, New Jersey, portrayed Rosa Parks as she recounted the events leading up to her historic arrest on Dec. 1 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus.
“In order to bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step,” Griffin said while performing as Parks.
The presentation was created, written and co-produced by Griffin and Anthony F. Miskowski in 2006 as a one-time performance for the Communication Workers of America Committee on Equity to commemorate Black History Month and honor the legacy of Rosa Parks.
However, since that first performance, the show has been presented at various worksites of state government in Trenton, New Jersey, at the 2007 National Women’s convention in Washington DC and several churches and schools.
“It just kind of took off,” Griffin said. “We put so much work into (the presentation) that I didn’t want it to end.”
All performances are free of charge and are intended to educate as well as entertain, Griffin said.
“I hope they learn something, just like I did,” she said.
Griffin said performing as Rosa Parks is both inspiring and challenging.
“I love it, I absolutely love doing Rosa,” she said. “It humbles me so much. I just hope I do her justice.”
Georgette Norman, director of the Rosa Parks Museum, said the event was a testament to the lasting legacy of Rosa Parks.
“It is absolutely amazing to me that the things that happened here so touched the world that people are taking it upon themselves … to keep it alive today,” Norman said.
Opened in 2000 as a tribute to Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement, the TROY’s Rosa Parks Library and Museum is located in downtown Montgomery on the site of the old Empire Theatre where Mrs. Parks was arrested 53 years ago.