101 years before Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin, an African American woman named Elizabeth Jennings refused to be removed from a New York City trolley. Her case in the Brooklyn Circuit Court led to the desegregation of all NYC trolley lines. Her attorney? Future president Chester A. Arthur
Before Rosa Parks, There Was Claudette Colvin. Colvin, 15, was arrested on March 2, 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white person. She was one of the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, the court case that successfully overturned bus segregation laws in Montgomery and Alabama.
Claudette Colvin. Another unsung Pioneer in Civil Rights, refusing to give up from her seat on a segregated bus 9 months before Rosa Parks would do so. Only 15 years old, she was arrested. Her case, part of Browder v. Gayle went all the way to the US Supreme Court that declared in 1956 that segregation on Public Transportation was unconstitutional. Her low profile and arrest made it difficult for her gain employment. Again she was only 15 years old. Children can be so brave where we can't.
Claudette Colvin: b. 1939; Claudette Colvin is a pioneer of the African-American civil rights movement. In 1955, she was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, preceding the better known Rosa Parks incident by nine months. Montgomery's black leaders did not publicize Colvin's effort for long because she was a teenager and became an unmarried mother. Given the social norms of the time, the NAACP leaders worried about using her to represent their…
Nine People Every Black Woman Should Know: Claudette Colvin to Sloane Stephens
"Claudette Colvin is arguably the most humble activist in recorded U.S. history. As a teen, she was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation. Until recent history, Colvin’s resistance, which preceded Rosa Parks’ arrest by nine months, has not been publicized apparently due to her unwed pregnancy. This year the People’s Organization for Progress honored Colvin in Newark, NJ, thanking her for an unsung commitment to civil rights. http://madamenoire.com Photo Source: Biography