We wrote about the late activist Rosa Parks’ personal items found in her homeÂ at the time of her death in 2005. These articlesÂ are now in the custody of Guernsey’s, the New York auction house selected by the Michigan courtÂ to hold an auction of these precious items in order to settle a dispute between the Parks family survivors and the Parks Foundation, over which would control the Rosa and Raymond Parks name and likeness.
We believe the items included in the collection of Parks’ personal affectsÂ are of value because they chronicle an important period in the history of this nation. It’s a sampling of the life of the woman known as the “mother of the civil rights movement”.We think it would be just great if Drs. Cosby, William and Camille, or actors/activist such as Sidney Poitier or Harry Belafonte or Halle Berry or Whoopi Goldberg, or hip-hop stars like Beyonce or Jay-Z or Kanye or Alicia KeysÂ or billionaireÂ OprahÂ would pool their resources to purchase the collection and then donate it to a deserving Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to display for the edification of the present public and future generations. Maybe Tom Joyner or Michael BaisdenÂ will organize the DJs around the country to raise the money to buy this valuable collection of history.
The court ruled all the pieces in the collection must be sold together and given to an institution, like a college or museum. We think it would be a great idea if Robert Johnson or Charles Barkley or Michael Jordan or Grant HillÂ would provide the 10 million dollarsÂ being asked for the collection and put it in a place like the Schomburg Museum in New York; maybeÂ MorehouseÂ Â or Spelman College in AtlantaÂ or Howard University in Washington, D.C.Â or Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.
IfÂ none of the colleges or universities have anÂ appropriate area to display historic items,Â we think a place should be built. Surely among all those activist celebrities we’ve mentioned there’s enough money to get this done to preserve our history. Don’t let this be like the Motown, formerly,Â Hitsville, property in Detroit. Â
A few years ago the structure that was the home of Berry Gordy’s Motwon in its infancyÂ was demolished for a parking lot for SuperBowl in Detroit. We heard none of the fixtures were saved.Â If this is true another portion of American history has been lost to disrespect and disdain. Do not let this happen to the Rosa Parks collection. We urge interested parties to contactÂ Guernsey’s at 212-794-2280.