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NAPLES, Italy (AP) — The run-down, paint-chipped Detroit house where U.S. civil rights icon Rosa Parks took refuge after her historic bus boycott is going on display in Italy.
It’s the latest stop for the house in a years-long saga that began when Parks’ niece saved the tiny two-story home from demolition in Detroit after the 2008 financial crisis.

She donated it to an American artist who took it apart and rebuilt it for public display in Germany, and now Italy, after failing to find a permanent resting place for it in the U.S.
Artist Ryan Mendoza has been campaigning for more than five years to draw attention to the historic value of the home, where Parks lived for a short time after her 1955 defining act of defiance: refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. The yearlong refusal of African Americans to ride city buses that followed is regarded as the first major U.S. demonstration against segregation.

A detail from the Rosa Parks house door (Photo via Getty Images)

In an interview ahead of the opening, Mendoza said he hoped the grandeur of the Naples debut of “Almost Home” would draw attention to Parks’ legacy and help America “remember a house it didn’t know it had forgotten.”
Parks lived in the tiny house in Detroit with her brother and his family as she struggled to make a new life for herself in the northern U.S. after receiving death threats following the bus protest. The family says Parks, who died in 2005, lived there with 17 other relatives.
The house was abandoned and slated for demolition after the financial crisis in 2008 and Detroit’s dramatic decline, but Parks’ niece, Rhea McCauley, bought it from the city for $500 and donated it to Mendoza. After unsuccessful efforts to persuade the city to help save the building, Mendoza in 2016 dismantled it and moved it to the German capital, rebuilding it on the lot of his studio for public display.
In 2018, Brown University announced it would feature the house as part of a planned exhibition on the civil rights movement organized by its Center for Slavery and Justice. But it backed out at the last minute, citing a legal dispute with the family.

U.S. artist Ryan Mendoza poses for a photo next to the former house of Rosa Parks on Mendoza’s property on April 6, 2017 in Berlin, Germany (Photo by Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Mendoza approached the Naples-based Morra Greco Foundation, where he had worked for a year in the 1990s. The Foundation agreed to help organize the exhibit with the backing of the Italian culture ministry and Campania regional government.
For Mendoza, the house epitomizes the experience of many African Americans who migrated north in the last century, only to face redlining and other discrimination that has affected generations of Black Americans.
“This house, in a word, is a way for people to understand why people in America are so enraged,” he said.
He takes particular satisfaction that the house, which is “so fragile that you can almost blow it over,” is being exhibited in the central courtyard of a royal palace, where it certainly would have never found welcome by the kings of the House of Bourbon.
But now, “instead of being rejected by the walls of the royal palace, it’s embraced and protected by these walls,” he said. “Potentially thanks to the showing of the house in this way, America will allow the house to have a home.”


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California governor says Disneyland, theme park reopening announcement coming soon

Another day, another story about California allowing Disneyland to reopen soon.

As the country continues to recover from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Disneyland (and other California theme parks) has made it known that it is ready to reopen. The theme park is reportedly just waiting on the governor to provide guidelines for reopening.

According to recent comments from Gov. Gavin Newsom, an announcement should be imminent.

Newsom spoke about the situation with the state’s theme parks during a briefing on the coronavirus and the wildfires on Wednesday, USA Today reports. The governor says he will soon have updates to provide.


“We will be making announcements soon as it relates to theme parks and amusement parks. I am not here today to make that presentation, but want folks to know we are actively working in a number of sectors," he said.


Earlier this week, a group representing the major theme parks in California issued a statement asking California’s governor to finally issue guidelines for the businesses to reopen. While California has partially reopened its economy, its theme parks remain closed, and operators are still unclear on a time frame for when they can open their doors again.

The California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) issued the statement on Monday. The group, which represents Disneyland, Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm and Legoland, reportedly urged Newsom to issue guidelines for reopening.


“California’s amusement parks urge the Governor to issue amusement park guidelines expeditiously so these vital community attractions can reopen their doors in a responsible manner and get residents back to work,” wrote executive director Erin Guerrero in the statement.

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