Before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in 1955, a young high school student by the name of Claudette Colvin held her head high in the face of injustice by refusing the very same thing. It was her bravery that caught the attention of the NAACP leading to the beginning of the Montgomery Alabama bus boycott. I couldn’t help but become disgruntled knowing that the young lady who stood her ground was not the face of the movement. They’re many speculations as to why the NAACP chose to use Rosa Parks as the face of the movement instead of Claudette Colvin. A clip of an article reads:
“Although Colvin’s arrest made a stir in the local media back in 1955, the local civil-rights campaign, led by a then little-known Montgomery pastor by the name o Martin Luther King Jr, ostracized her. This she attributes to a combination of factors: her age, her gender, her darker skin tone, and the fact that a few months later she would become pregnant out of wedlock.”
Sometimes people are excluded to be protected. A young black woman making such a stand during a time when segregation and discrimination were at an all-time high, there’s no telling what that would’ve done to her. The media is nothing to play with today, so you can imagine the image they would’ve painted of this child. I can see the headlines, labeling her as a rebel, and not someone who should be admired or praised. Having a child as a teenager is an easy target for ridicule, which would’ve overshadowed the good she’s done. Ms. Claudette Colvin was a child who only wanted to sit down after coming from school. She deserves the utmost respect, and she certainly has mine.
Today we honor Claudette Colvin - the secret face behind one of the most powerful movements in history.
"I felt like Sojourner Truth was pushing down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman was pushing down on the other - saying, 'Sit down girl!'"
To learn more about Claudette Colvin, please see the link attached: