Rosa Parks vs OutKast: the forgotten six year dispute over a song

Antoine "Big Boi" Patton, left, and Andre "Dre" Benjamin of Outkast accept their award for best digital song Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2003 during the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta)

In 2005, Rosa Parks and the legendary rap duo, OutKast settled a lawsuit in which the civil rights pioneer accused the group of wrongly using her name in a song title.

Parks, 92, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955. The incident triggered one of the modern civil rights movement’s earliest landmark events, a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

She has suffered from dementia from at least 2002, and was rarely seen in public before her passing in 2005. Parks filed a lawsuit in 1999 alleging defamation and trademark infringement because OutKast used her name without permission in the song, which is about the entertainment industry. It includes the chorus: “Ah-ha, hush that fuss. Everybody move to the back of the bus.”