28 Feb 2013

Rosa Parks statue honours civil rights icon

10:18 pm on 28 February 2013

American civil rights leader Rosa Parks has been honoured with a commemorative statue in the Capitol Building in Washington.

Mrs Parks, who died in 2005 at the age of 92, is widely regarded as the mother of the civil rights movement in the United States.

In 1955 she became an icon after defiantly refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in the racially-segregated city of Montgomery in Alabama, the BBC reports.

Unveiling the nine-foot bronze statue on Wednesday, President Barack Obama said Rosa Parks had taken her rightful place among those who shaped American history.

She is the first black woman with a full-length statue in the Capitol's Statuary Hall, where sculptures of scores of famous Americans stand.

Several of her family members attended the event.