Those driving around Wichita might notice a unique bus over the next year. In recognition of Black History Month, Wichita Transit has devoted one of its vehicles to the memory of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
A vinyl graphic has been wrapped around a transit bus in the style of 1955 Montgomery, Alabama.
With green, yellow and white stripes, it’s meant to mimic the bus in which Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger.
“For her to say, ‘I’m not going to move,’ that was a powerful moment,” says Wichita City Council member Lavonta Williams. “It was a movement which really brought light to the fact that there are some who have, and there are some who have not.”
In addition to vinyl graphics, the bus will have a seat that’s reserved for Rosa Parks at all times.
Williams says the project is a history lesson for local students. The bus will include essays and drawings made by 5th and 6th graders and will travel to local schools for lessons about Rosa Parks.
“We just thought it was a great way for the kids to have a visual of the bus as they study black history, which we all know is American history,” Williams says.
The original “Rosa Parks bus” has been restored and is kept at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Wichita is looking for donors to help keep the bus decorated for at least a year.
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