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De Witt Dykes Jr., an associate history professor at Oakland University, said it is important to be as accurate as possible about the home's provenance and to be clear about what is known — and what isn't — in any exhibitions.
"I think this immediate controversy is a tragedy," he said, adding that it would have made sense for Rosa Parks to have stayed with relatives after leaving Alabama.
Congress, in awarding Parks the Congressional Gold Medal for her contributions to the nation, said she quietly ignited "the most significant social movement in the history of the United States" and called her the "mother of the freedom movement." Still, the part of Parks' story that isn't as well known is after she moved to Detroit. I know people have said I am lying, but you can't have every family member of Auntie Rosa lying at the same time." The family, the owners said, eventually lost the home through bad mortgages.
It was dilapidated, and Mc Cauley said she hoped her childhood home could be restored.
Do I wish there were no houses in disrepair in Detroit? In 1994, when Parks was in her 80s, she moved to a downtown apartment in Riverfront Towers, a gated high-rise next to the Detroit River, for her safety.
According to news accounts, Parks had been hit in the face by an intruder who stole from the Wildemere home.
Mike Illitch, the late owner of the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, helped pay Parks' rent at the high-rise.
Parks, who never owned a house, lived at the Riverfront Towers until she died.
Mc Cauley added she knows that's true because she was one of 13 children and other relatives who Parks lived with while at the house. Joel Boykin, 62, recalled seeing Parks visit the house.