Oak Ridge Media

Claudette Colvin

Shella St. Eloi, Staff Writer

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From the beginning, history has been a propaganda which only allows us to learn about what they want us to know. In history, we learn that Rosa Parks was the first black to resist segregation in public transportation. Although, history fail to recognize the young teenage girl, Claudette Colvin, who was brave enough to say no to segregation.

On March 2, 1955, Colvin decided that she’d endured enough because of segregation and decided to stand up for what she believed in when she was asked to give up her seat to a white passenger. The 15-year-old girl felt compelled and remained stationary because at that moment she felt empowered and said “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right.”

Colvin was arrested and was a plaintiff in the case Browder vs. Gayle which helped stop segregation of buses in Alabama. She was charged for violating the city’s segregation laws. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People did not want to use Colvin because they thought she was too young to challenge the segregation laws. Later, Colvin became pregnant and they used her pregnancy as an excuse to not use her bravery because they did not want an unwed pregnant teen to negatively impact their protest. It wasn’t until months later that Rosa Park decided to take actions against segregation.

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Claudette Colvin