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Parks Essay Appears To Discuss Rape Attempt

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Mary Marow holds a photo of civil rights activist Rosa Parks outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. (JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

Mary Marow holds a photo of civil rights activist Rosa Parks outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. (JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) –  An essay written by civil rights activist Rosa Parks is raising the question of whether she was nearly raped by a white neighbor. A New York City auction house is trying to sell thousands of items that once belonged to Parks.

One of the items is a first-person essay she wrote. It appears to be an astounding remembrance that experts say might help explain Parks’ lifelong advocacy. But on Friday an institute created by Parks said it was her work – but fiction.

A lawyer for the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroit says Parks’ best friend never heard her speak of such an attack.

One historian says the essay is likely true and would help to explain her dedication to fighting sexual violence against black women.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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