Rosa Parks, 91, has earned free rent for life. Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit had been paying Parks’ rent, which had been as high as $1,800 a month, since August 2003.
After first threatening eviction, Riverfront Associates, which owns the apartment where Parks has lived since 1994, decided in October saying Parks could stay for free for the rest of her life. “I thought it was the right thing to do,” managing partner Peter Cummings told the Detroit Free Press. “This woman is an icon. She deserves an enormous amount of respect. In a way, I think it’s an honor to be able to accord her that respect.”
Parks was 42 when she refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955. Her arrest triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.