In October 2005, our nation stopped to mourn the death of Rosa Parks, the mother of the Civil Rights Movement. Parks, known for her quiet demeanor and steadfast strength, refused to give up her seat on a bus in Birmingham, Alabama- thus starting the Birmingham Bus Boycott in December 1955.
When Parks died, we saw a lot of fanfare surrounding her death, perhaps because of the lack of fanfare surrounding others who died during the movement. While the nation mourned the loss of Martin and Medgar, and even Malcolm; there was not any type of national mourning comparable to what we saw with the death of Rosa Parks, and most recently, with the death of Mrs. Coretta Scott King.
That said, imagine my surprise when I saw this article on MSNBC.com with a headline that says “Premium charged for plots near Parks”. The article goes on to say that prior to Parks’ death, the cost for a plot in the cemetery was around $17,000. Now, to be buried around Parks’ family plot in the cemetery, you could expect to pay anywhere from $24,000 to $65,000.
Am I the only one that thinks that is ridiculous? How much of a selling point can that be? I can’t imagine going to bury my family in this cemetery and they say something to the effect of, “And for just an extra $7000 you could be buried close to Rosa Parks.” I think that it’s wrong to capitalize on Parks’ legacy; especially when you are taking advantage of the bereaved.
What is our country coming to? This issue isn’t anywhere near one of the main issues on America’s spectrum. However, it took years for us to truly honor Parks’ and other Civil Rights leaders. To this day, we still have problems honoring our local leaders who spawned incredible grassroots movements that helped to shape this nation during the Civil Rights Movement as well. You can’t put a price on their legacy. I wish someone would tell that to the management company of the cemetery in Detroit.
March 7, 2006 at 4:48 pm
are you serious!? some of us can’t afford to live certain places and now we can’t afford to be dead in certain places.
i wonder if cemetaries suffer from white flight when black folks -even important ones – start moving in.
am i the only one that’s upset that it costs $17,000 to rest in peace in the first place?!
March 7, 2006 at 6:00 pm
I’m serious just like dig a hole and bury me, I promise it’s not that serious.
Besides I really wouldn’t know what you did with me.
Erin likes MSNBC 🙂
March 12, 2006 at 7:27 pm
Woodlawn Cemetery Honors Rosa Parks
DETROIT — March 11, 2006
“The Woodlawn family feels very strongly that Mrs. Parks’ final resting place should be a secure and dignified environment where generations can come to revere her memory. It was to honor Rosa Parks, and only to honor her, that we dedicated the mausoleum as the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel. We regret that the misinformation contained in recent news stories has caused additional heartache and pain to her family and to all who revere this great woman.”
To honor the legacy of Rosa Parks, Woodlawn Cemetery and its parent company Mikocem, LLC, dedicated a mausoleum and donated crypts and entombment services for Mrs. Parks, and for her husband and mother who were buried elsewhere in the cemetery.
Woodlawn originally presented a proposal to dedicate the chapel and donate crypts in 2004.
Three days after her passing, the legal representatives of her estate graciously accepted the offer. It was the Cemetery’s understanding that Mrs. Parks’ family was consulted, and offered an opportunity to purchase crypts in the chapel.
In the week before her funeral, Woodlawn Cemetery made major upgrades and enhancements to the chapel necessary for a person of Mrs. Parks’ stature. Most importantly, a high-level security system was installed, allowing the chapel to be open to visitors wanting to revere her memory. Additionally, the chapel was painted and new carpet, improved lighting, benches and monuments were installed. The area was landscaped, trees were cut down and roads were patched. A major underground upgrade to the electrical system is underway.
Mikocem donated crypts, disinterment and entombment fees and bronze inscriptions for the Parks family, and is absorbing more than $60,000 in renovation costs. Also, they are staffing the chapel when opened to provide additional security.
Although the crypts in the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel have never been marketed, a private party contacted Woodlawn expressing interest in the seven remaining couch crypts near Mrs. Parks. They understand they will benefit from the recent enhancements, and are honored to have this opportunity to support these efforts.
Built in 1895, this structure was renovated in 1999 to serve as a mausoleum and has 10 couch crypts (the last remaining crypts of this prominence in the cemetery), 60 single crypts, and a seating area for services.
July 19, 2006 at 3:27 am
Best regards from NY!
August 8, 2006 at 5:56 am
Best regards from NY!
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