The Crusader Newspaper Group

Where is Rosa Park’s House? In Berlin

By Sally McGrane,

As twilight fell over Wedding, a working-class Berlin neighborhood, the curtained window panes of a small, dilapidated-looking backyard house began to glow. Yellow light spilled through the cracks in the wooden facade. Children playing next door looked up as the house started to vibrate with musical notes and otherworldly feedback.

Then came the strong, clear voice of the American civil rights icon Rosa Parks. She was talking about Montgomery, Ala., and her refusal to give up her seat in the front of a bus.

The house, where Ms. Parks lived, once sat in Detroit, and belonged to Ms. Parks’s brother. But after it was threatened with demolition, the house was moved to Berlin, where it was opened to the public in early April.

Inside, Ryan Mendoza, a Berlin-based American artist, has been putting on half-hour-long sound performances, including excerpts from a 1957 radio interview with Ms. Parks conducted in this very building. “It’s my job to keep the house alive,” Mr. Mendoza explained.

He added, “I try to make it loud enough to annoy the neighbors, but not too much.”


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