Breaking News
More () »

KAT honors Rosa Parks with open bus seats

KAT buses had an open seat on every bus on Dec. 1 to honor the late civil rights activist.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Thursday, Dec. 1, Knoxville Area Transit honored the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks by keeping one seat on every bus open. 

The seats had a placard to recognize how Parks changed U.S. history by remaining in her seat and how she impacted the fight for racial justice and equal rights, according to a release. 

This is the first time KAT has done this since 2020. 

Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955, after she refused to give up her seat to a white man in Montgomery, Ala. This action led to the Mongomery Bus Boycott, a 381-day boycott of the transit system, largely by African Americans. This led to the Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional. 

Director of Transit for the city of Knoxville Isaac Thorne said that KAT wanted to honor Parks's courage and the work she did for civil rights. 

“Rosa Parks’s seemingly small act of courage in the fight for racial justice had enormous consequences,” Thorne said. “We honor that courage and the work of past civil rights leaders while recognizing the responsibility we all have to continue to advance efforts to achieve racial equity across our city and our nation.”

Before You Leave, Check This Out