Rosa Parks, the courageous civil rights pioneer who refused togive up her seat on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama bus to a whiteman in 1955, is suffering from dementia according to court papersfiled this week.
Parks, 91, lives in her Detroit home and iswell cared for according to Gregory Reed, an attorney whorepresents her in a lawsuit against
Rap musician OutKast and the BMG recordcompany. Reed described Parks’ condition as a severe mentalimpairment that “comes and goes.’
The Associated Press reported that the publicstatements concerning Parks’ health were issued through a legalfiling in her case against OutKast stemming from the Grammy-awardwinning group’s 1998 song “Rosa Parks.” The lawsuitalleges the song violated Parks’ publicity and trademark rights anddefamed the civil rights legend. OutKast, however, has beendismissed as a defendant.
Lawyers for the defense have asked tointerview Parks for an explanation of her claim that the songcaused her to suffer mental and emotional distress.
Parks, often popularly referred to as the”Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” has rarely beenseen in public since 2001 when she canceled a meeting withPresident George W. Bush.
When the then 42-year-old Parks refused togive up her seat on the city bus in Montgomery, Ala. In 1955, shewas jailed and fined, which prompted a 381-day bus boycottorganized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.