Claudette Colvin was born on September 5, 1939, in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. Colvin was arrested on March 2, 1955, for not giving up her seat to a white woman. She was 15 years old when this happened. Colvin was put on trial on several charges including violating the segregation ordinance. The court found her guilty. She was beaten up and ridiculed by white people after the incident. Colvin was placed on probation. Reverend Johnson bailed her out and when she got back home, everyone was so proud of her. In 1956, about one year after Colvin refused to give up her seat, her lawyer, Fred Gray, filed the landmark federal lawsuit: Browder v Gayle. This case stopped segregation on public transportation in Montgomery Alabama. Claudette’s incident was before Rosa Parks even though she isn’t acknowledged much. Around this time, Colvin was getting involved in the Youth Council of Montgomery of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Even though they got a light sentence from the court, she was branded a troublemaker. She dropped out of college and could not find a job. Colvin moved to New York City in 1958. There she worked as a nurse assistant in a nursing home while living there. Colvin retired in 2004. She is currently 83 years old. Although she is relatively unknown, Colvin played an important part in the Civil rights movement.
References[change | change source]
- "Claudette Colvin Biography". Bio/ A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- "Before Rosa Parks, A Teenager Defied Segregation On An Alabama Bus". NPR. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- Anne Emanuel, Elbert Parr Tuttle: Chief Jurist of the Civil Rights Revolution (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2011), pp. 169–172