Woman of the Day -Claudette Colvin 

Green Party Women Celebrating Women’s History Month Day 2: Women’s History Month, Woman of the Day, Claudette Colvin #ForWomenAndPlanet

Our second woman of the month is civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin. On March 2 1955, a then courageous 15yr old girl refused to give her seat up to a white woman on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was subsequently arrested by the local police.

This act of civil disobedience occurred nine months before the better known and often lauded Rosa Parks, which is why we are shining a spotlight on her today.

When the bus driver told her to give up her seat the brave teenager replied “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right.”

When appearing in court following her arrest, Claudette opposed the segregation law by declaring herself not guilty. Unfortunately, the court ruled against her and though she avoided imprisonment she was put on probation.

This did not deter Claudette, and she later became one of the four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, which ruled that the segregated bus system in Montgomery was unconstitutional.

Claudette eventually left Montgomery and moved to New York where she she dedicated her life to nursing for 35 years before retiring.

Despite advances in American civil rights, Claudette’s conviction and criminal record were not cleared until 2021, 66 years after her arrest when Claudette was 82yrs old.

“I knew then and I know now that, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, This is not right.”


BBC News

Today in Womens History



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