D.C.

Rosa Parks statue dedication a 'powerful moment', Obama says

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the dedication in the Capitol of a statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be a "powerful moment."

Rosa Parks smiles during a ceremony where she received the Congressional Medal of Freedom in Detroit, Mich., Nov. 28, 1999. Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died of natural causes in her Detroit home Monday, Oct. 24, 2005, she was 92. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Obama is to speak at next Wednesday's ceremony.

Parks' refusal in December 1955 to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger led to a citywide bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., and encouraged nationwide efforts to end segregation. Parks died in October 2005.

Obama said Thursday in a radio interview with Al Sharpton that the statue will put a seamstress who helped bring about a "more just America" in her rightful place among some of the titans of U.S. government.

Officials say the statue will be the first full-length one of an African-American woman in the Capitol.

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