Civil Rights spark Rosa Parks has finally gotten a date for her legal bout with rappers Andre 3000 and Big Boi of Outkast.
The trial has been set for January 10, 2005, but the suit will take on an even more dramatic twist because of the civil rights leader’s ailing health. Lawyers for Outkast have been denied the opportunity to interview Parks by her counsel because of her medical condition.
A judge might force Parks to offer a deposition on her arguments on the case.
Parks’ lawyers intent to aggressively argue that OutKast defamed her and breached her trademark and publicity. To support her, she has a host of possible witnesses that include U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Coretta Scott King, Detroit’s “hip-hop Mayor” Kwame Kilpatrick and others in government.
The 91-year-old helped spurn the Civil Rights Movement when she refused to relinquish her city bus seat to a white man in December 1955 in Montgomery, Ala. A subsequent boycott by African American’s led to the eventual court-appointed desegregation of public transportation across the country.
Since the “Rosa Parks” emerged as a hit in 1998, the Civil Rights icon has maintained that the rap group profited on her name and defamed her in the song. The song does not mention her though it does reference moving to the “back of the bus.”
OutKast feels that the song is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.
Parks has requested that her name be removed from future recordings of the song.