May 12, 2015 Family of Rosa Parks to Discuss Her Legacy

“Our Auntie Rosa” Memoir Offers Personal Side of Parks’ Life

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

Rosa Parks is internationally famous for her role in the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. Yet few know the other side of Parks’ life.

A new memoir, “Our Auntie Rosa: The Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons” (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015), provides a look at Parks as a model of excellence in daily life, as well as a devoted mother figure to her niece, Sheila McCauley Keys, and Keys’ 12 siblings.

Keys and Eddie B. Allen Jr., the memoir’s co-author, will discuss and sign their book on Wednesday, May 20, at noon in Room LJ 119, located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond program is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Library’s Prints and Photographs and Manuscript divisions, and the Daniel A.P. Murray Association of the Library of Congress. The Rosa Parks Collection is housed in the Manuscript Division, on loan to the Library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Following her act of bravery on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, Rosa Parks and her husband moved to Detroit in 1957, where Parks largely disappeared from public view. There, Parks reconnected with her only sibling, Sylvester McCauley, and her nieces and nephews. They were her only family. The woman whose family called her “Auntie Rosa” was a soft-spoken person whom very few people actually knew.

Sheila McCauley Keys is the seventh niece of Rosa Parks. She was featured in PBS’s live broadcast of the National Day of Courage, celebrating what would have been Parks’ 100th birthday, in 2013. Journalist Eddie B. Allen Jr. is the author of “Low Road: The Life and Legacy of Donald Gaines.” His work has appeared in The New York Times and the Detroit Free Press, among other publications.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit read.gov.

###

PR 15-086
2015-05-12
ISSN 0731-3527