Claudette like her”. This is a bitter sweet statement

Claudette Colvin is one of the many
civil rights activists who contributed to and pioneered in making big movements
towards the abolition of bus segregation in America. In 1955 she was arrested
for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Although Rosa
parks is most widely known for this act, there are many many unsung heroes who
have done it before her, Colvin perfectly exemplifies an unsung hero.

            Colvin
was always described as “outspoken” “mouthy” and “feisty”. It
is because of this in addition to things in her personal life for example she
was a pregnant teenager who was still in school (whom had to ultimately drop
out of school because of the incident) that really kept her out of the
spotlight. Colvin herself even admitted that her own mother had explained to
her to “let Rosa be the one, white people aren’t going to bother rosa, they
like her”. This is a bitter sweet statement in that Rosa is basically going to
be the pioneering face for all the hard work and tribulations other persons of
color had to go through. While on the other hand Rosa was honestly the best
figure to have at the forefront. She was Charismatic and had a “cleaner”
background and personal life than Colvin so this basically qualified her for
the role. It was also stated that Parks “more resembled someone who was middle
class”.

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Colvin was actually one of the
plaintiffs in the federal court case filed by civil rights attorney Fred Gray
in 1956. The case went to the united states supreme court where Colvin was the
last to testify. Three days later the supreme court issued an order to the
state of Alabama to end bus segregation.

The social conditions of American
society during her lifetime were tough mainly because this was around the time
of the American Civil War and abolition of slavery, the United States entered a
period known as Reconstruction, during which Black Americans continued to
suffer from disenfranchisement, racial segregation, and economic oppression.

Beginning in the early 1950s, Black Americans launched a series of major
campaigns of civil resistance, emphasizing the need for nonviolent protests and
civil disobedience. Colvin’s act is a perfect exemplification of these
demonstrations. There were also marches, such as the march from Selma to
Montgomery, during which activists walked along the 54-mile highway from Selma
to Montgomery, Alabama in an effort to display the desire of Black Americans to
exercise their constitutional right to vote. Notable civil rights leaders
included Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Andrew Young, James Farmer, and
more. Therefore Colvin’s actions helped to
basically strike the match that started the fire in the Montgomery Bus Boycott
movement.

            Colvin was all for change and the
advancement of colored people but her brave act took a toll on her personal
life. After the incident Colvin moved to New York with her son
because of all the negative feedback from the incident she started getting in
her everyday life, she was branded as a trouble maker. After she was forced out
of school it also became hard to find work because of her infamous case.

Till this day many are still unaware of Colvin’s bravery.

Colvin was recently asked if she was upset that Rosa parks took the spotlight
and she said that she is not angry that she did not get the recognition she
deserved; rather, she is disappointed. She said she felt as if she was
“getting her Christmas in January rather than the 25th.” But she was
always very proud of her actions and said that if she had to go back to that
very same day and refuse to stand up again she would do it.