Claudette Colvin

Civil Rights Activist

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Early Years

Claudette Colvin was born on September 5, 1939 in Montgomery Alabama; She is also a Virgo. Growing up in one of Montgomery's poorer neighborhoods, Colvin studied hard in school. She earned mostly A's in her classes and even aspired to become president one day ( In high school, "Colvin had been studying the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and took these lessons seriously" (Phibbs). As a Freshman she learned what the African Americans were going through in high school and wrote an essay to assure her teacher what the African Americans teenagers had to put up with (Phibbs). Since she had studied the U.S. Constitution, she understood that she did not have to give up her seat and started kicking and screaming while being removed off the bus: along with Claudette being removed from the bus she was young when the police arrested her and it made the black parents frustrated because she was only 15 years old getting arrested (Phibbs).

Montgomery Bus Boycott

When Claudette stood against segregation in 1955, she was only 15 years old ( "But this time, she was thinking of the slavery fighters she had read about recently during Negro History Week in February. "The spirit of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth as in me. I didn't get up." (Claudette Colvin). "On March 2, 1955, she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. she was arrested and became one of four plaintiffs in Brower v. Gayle, which ruled that Montgomery's segregated bus system was unconstitutional" ( "Police were summoned and two different officers approached Colvin, who was crying trying to explain herself. One of them kicked the thin teenager and knocked the textbooks from her arms. "They dragged her off the bus," says Price, who was sitting behind her classmate. "The rest of us stayed quiet. People were too scared to say anything."Colvin was handcuffed and taken to the city jail, where she was charged with disorderly conduct, violating the segregation ordinance and and assault and battery, presumably because she clawed the officers with her long fingernails and she was thrown in a cell by herself until her mother and minister came to bail her out." (Claudette Colvin).

Why Rosa Parks was a better fit then Claudette Colvin?

Rosa Parks was a better fit than Claudette Colvin because the NAACP thought that teenagers wouldn't be reliable along with the fact of Claudette Colvin was too young and had an affair with an old married man, so having intimacy out wedlock was a bad thing at that time period. After her getting arrested and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Claudette had to focus on what was more important which is being a single mother to her first son Raymond born in March 1956 and her second son born Randy, who arrived in 1960 and she knew she had to provide for her family ( She moved north in 1958 and in order for Claudette to keep a job she didn't tell anyone about what she did in Montgomery and she didn't keep in contact with anyone from the movement ( When she got settled down and realized what she wanted she finally told people to just let Rosa Parks represent the Boycott that happened in Montgomery and she wanted them to tell people that there were four other people to the supreme court to challenge the law to end segregation ( The other factors of why Rosa Parks is a better fit for the Boycott was because she was 42, married and worked for the NAACP (Ali). After all she went through; her name was erased from the movement and for about 50 years, no one knew who she was (Ali).
The Story of Claudette Colvin

Work Cited

Ali, Abdul. "The Woman Civil Rights Leaders Threw Under a Bus." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016

Phibbs, Cheryl. "Claudette Colvin." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.