Gladys DeVane, in character as Rosa Parks, after the performance of She Changed the Course of History: The Rosa Parks Story. DeVane’s expertise is that of compiling the information and developing and writing a coherent story that reflects the hardships, struggles, and adversity encountered by a proud people; stories that celebrate a people’s determination and resilience. Photos by Naama Levy


Local actress, writer, and historian Gladys DeVane dressed as Rosa Parks to commemorate the activist’s 105th birthday with Bloomington Transit on Saturday, February 3. DeVane was participating in Bloomington Transit’s Free Ride Day event, which was part of the city’s Black History Month and Bicentennial celebrations.

DeVane, in character as Parks, arrived at the Downtown Transit Center at 1 p.m. on the No. 3 Highland Village Bus. The ride was followed by Resilience Productions’ special performance of She Changed the Course of History: The Rosa Parks Story, which was written and performed by DeVane, narrated by Liz Mitchell, and directed by Danielle Bruce. Mayor John Hamilton, along with Bloomington City Council member and President of the Monroe County Chapter of the NAACP Jim Sims, offered a few words after the performance.

The event concluded with photo opportunities with DeVane as Parks, as well as a display of Jim Crow artifacts from Mitchell’s collection. Bloomington Transit offered free bus rides all day to honor Parks’ contributions to bus desegregation and advancing African American civil rights.

CHECK OUT THIS PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE EVENT. (Click on the photo below to start the slideshow. Use the on-screen arrows or the arrows on your keyboard to navigate forward and backward.) PHOTOS BY NAAMA LEVY