The yearlong refusal of African Americans to ride city buses that followed is regarded as the first major U.S. demonstration against segregation.
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…