Hundreds of people gathered Monday in the auditorium of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for the first-day-of-issue ceremony in celebration of Parks, who had lived in Detroit before her death at age 92 in 2005.
"I think it's a great opportunity to honor a woman who is seen as the mother of the civil rights movement," Detroit resident Rufus Beal said. "I'm grateful to experience all of this."
At Charles H. Wright on Monday, after the audience sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing," Detroit Postmaster Lloyd Wesley Jr. unveiled the new stamp that features a portrait painting of Parks created by artist Thomas Blackshear II based on a 1950s photograph.
"It's beautiful," Beal said. "I think it chronicles how she looked at the time."
At the ceremony, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, expressed his admiration for the design as well.
"As I look at that stamp, I love that painting. You see a quiet woman of steely resolve; and you look in her eyes, her eyes say 'Don't mess with me.'"
Parks, who is often remembered for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., was also praised for her contribution to the civil rights movement. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, said Parks stated the importance of her actions, which he said influenced his career.
"Those actions still reverberate," Levin said. "The postmaster says this stamp has a word on it: forever. The values that Rosa Parks stood for, fought for are values which we must fight for forever."