I grew up an hour from Montgomery, Ala., in the 1950s, and I was one of many who were privileged to be in the Capitol Rotunda when Rosa Parks became the first woman ever to lie in state there. The statue of Parks, symbolizing not only her indomitable spirit but also the spirit of generations since, belongs among the “immortals” in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall who remind us of who we are, how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
But I don’t get why every photograph of the statue looks so dreadful. In particular I was dismayed by the photo that appeared with the March 1 article “What would Parks do? Honor Tubman” [The Root DC].
I saw a TV program that featured the artist at work on the statue in clay, and that was a wonderful likeness of Parks. Did something happen when we “bronzed” her? Or was it the play of light or the limits of photography that created the visual sense that the statue “melted”?
Perhaps The Post could do us all a favor and break the cardinal rule of journalism that bans “Photoshopping.”Or perhaps it could turn its graphics folks loose to create a photo that presents a more accurate picture of what folks like me would see if we were standing before the statue.
If her statue really looks like the picture The Post published, I think we could do better. Just have the artist replace the bronze with the clay model. Alabama red clay might be a better way of expressing who Parks was anyway. We put her on a pedestal, but she herself just sat down on a bus. And she is the one who made the difference.
Rev. Richard L. Sheffield,