Claudette Colvin: Rosa Parks Predecessor

By Nadia Jeffries

   When I attended Northeast, I took U.S. History II one semester. My favorite topic in U.S. History II was the Civil Rights Movement. Most topics I knew about, but there was this one topic that blew my mind. I learned that Rosa Parks was not the first to give up her seat to a white passenger. It was Claudette Colvin.

    Claudette Colvin was born in 1939 in Montgomery, Alabama. Colvin was a smart and hard working child; she received all A’s in school. On March 2, 1955, she was riding the bus after school when the bus driver told her to give up her seat to a white passenger. She refused, debating that it was her constitutional right to sit there because she paid her fare just like everyone else. The NAACP did not put her case out there because Colvin was a teen and she was also pregnant at the time. After she was put on probation, Colvin struggled in school and eventually dropped out. Her work life even became difficult because it was hard for her to get a job.

      If it was not for Claudette Colvin, the support for Rosa Parks would never have gotten recognition. Even though Colvin’s story is not told as often as it should be, she will always be the first to commit that action. She brought it to life and she is one of the people who put up a fight for what is right!