Rock Hill Freedom Walkway honoree passes away

Posted June 21, 2021 12:14 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News, News

She was called the “Rosa Parks of Rock Hill”. On July 13, 1957, when Addelene Austin was just 23 years old, she stepped onto the bus for her daily ride home from work. There was only one seat left on the bus that hot summer day, but it was in the whites-only section. Although a white woman offered to share the seat with Addelene, the bus driver refused to let her sit down. Tired and humiliated, she chose to get off the bus and walk three miles home rather than remain standing. Word of Addelene’s experience quickly spread around Rock Hill. Although she had no intention of starting a protest when she boarded the bus that day, a boycott of the Star Transit Company was in full effect by the end of July. By December, the Star Transit Company ceased operations, and the boycott officially ended. Addelene Austin White passed away on June 13th in New York at the age of 87. Visitation will be on Thursday, June 24th at Robinson Funeral Home from 6-8pm with services on Friday June 25 at 1pm. Addelene Austin White was among the first of those local heroes honored by the Freedom Walkway in 2016.