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The Charleston slave rebellion of 1822, led by Denmark Vesey, was, in fact, organized around the AME Church.Congregationalists soon included Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth."The denomination became known as 'The Freedom Church' during the abolitionist movement," Parks proudly boasts."It was the spiritual home of many well-known black persons in our history before civil rights." The first AME church in Alabama was established in Mobile fifty years later, as AME churches spread throughout the South after the Civil War; it counted nearly seven thousand congregations with over half a million members when Rosa Mc Cauley was born in 1913.But it's another disparity that dominates the picture: Carved into the roof's rough wood is a large star in the style of the distelfinks Amish farmers hang on their barns in Pennsylvania's Dutch country.Just as nobody knows where the house was, nobody knows when or why the star was carved on Parks's birthplace-or what, if anything, it signifies.

On the night of April 26, 1777, after learning the news that the British had begun burning nearby Danbury, Connecticut, sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington rode her horse, Star, the entire night through the hamlets of Carmel, Mahopac, Kent Cliffs and Farmers Mills, warning those along the way that the British were coming before returning home at dawn.Up from Pine Level Nobody knows exactly where in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Mc Cauley was born on February 4, 1913.The town newspaper reported that the skies were clear and it was unseasonably warm that day, but beyond that, and the fact that she was named after her maternal grandmother, Rose, virtually no reliable documentation exists on the early years of Rosa Louise Parks.Hymns played a large part in the AME Sunday service, which spawned the gospel-music genre from the singing and shouting and dancing in ecstatic celebration of Jesus Christ.Although they observed the same Communion rituals as traditional Methodist churches, AME preachers didn't just intone passages from the New Testament; they used impassioned oratory to bring the spirit of the Lord right into their congregations.