Unjust laws will remain unjust until disobeyed by good people. Had brave individuals throughout history not risked imprisonment or worse to challenge tyrannical, racist, and immoral laws, society today, would be much less free — this rule true for black people in America.
On December 1, 1955, made history by disobeying an unjust law that required people of color to yield their seats on the bus to the . When the told row of black people to of the bus because a boarded, everyone complied, Parks.
Parks was arrested and convicted for failing to obey the driver’s seat assignments. The events following her arrest, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, federal ruling of Browder v. Gayle which ruled that segregated buses were unconstitutional, would be a turning point in segregated America.
While is certainly American history, her idea to disobey the unjust bus law entirely original.
Can you name woman who wouldn’t her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama? .
Rosa Parks’ decision to disobey that fateful day was inspired and, in fact, modeled after a 15-year-old hero named Claudette Colvin.
Nine months before Parks was arrested for her choice her seat, on March 2, 1955, this brave child, without the support of the NAACP, or Civil Rights groups, took a stand on principle alone and refused up her seat.
“It’s my constitutional right here as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right.” Colvin said as she bravely asserted her rights on her way home from school that day.
“I felt like was pushing down on one shoulder and was pushing down on the other—saying, ‘Sit down girl!’ glued to my seat,” she later explained.
For violating the city’s segregation laws, Colvin, at only 15, was thrown cage. “I was really afraid because didn’t know what might do at ,” Colvin later said.
Luckily for Colvin, however, her arrest got of the NAACP, who had been a case to use to argue against these unjust laws. Colvin was the NAACP as they discussed using her case to fight for the rights of all blacks. However, they opted use Colvin for several reasons.
According to Bio, after some consideration, the NAACP opted for case. several reasons for this decision: Colvin’s conviction for violating segregation laws had been overturned on appeal (though a conviction for assault on a stood). Colvin’s age was another issue—as Colvin told NPR in 2009, the NAACP and other groups “didn’t think teenagers would be reliable.”
The 15-year-old also became pregnant months after her arrest as a .
“If the white press got ahold of that information, have [had] a field day,” said , to Colvin’s pregnancy. “They’d call her girl, and her case wouldn’t have .”
“I told Mrs. Parks, as I had told other leaders in Montgomery, that the Claudette Colvin arrest was segregation on the buses,” says Fred Gray, Parks’s lawyer. “However, the black leadership in Montgomery at the time thought that wait.”
It was during her time at the NAACP that Colvin met . The pair became friends and decided that Parks would be the spokesperson for act of disobedience.
When asked by the Guardian in 2000, Colvin explained that Parks would the case by refusing on the bus was multi-faceted.
“It would different if I hadn’t been pregnant, but if I had lived different place or been light-skinned, have made a difference, too.”
As the Guardian reported, Montgomery’s black establishment leaders decided person. person, it transpired, would be . “Mrs. Parks was a ,” said ED Nixon. “She was morally clean, had good academic training … If there was ever we would’ve been [use to] break that existed on the Montgomery , Rosa L Parks was to use … I probably would’ve examined a dozen more before I got there if hadn’t come along before I found one.”
By Monday, the day the boycott began, Colvin had already been airbrushed from the official version of events. Meanwhile, Parks had been transformed from a politically-conscious activist to an upstanding, unfortunate Everywoman. “And since it had to happen, I’m happy it happened to like Mrs. Parks,” said King from the pulpit of the Holt Street .
Had the NAACP not had the foresight this act of to the masses, the events that transpired after Parks’ arrest may happened and history entirely different.
After understanding story behind , it now makes perfect sense why these images of her arrest and seat on the bus are so professional — they were meant to be.
The power information took on new meaning that day.
While American history books ignore the bravery of Claudette Colvin, her heroism has resisted the whitewashing and her story has beaten .
Please share this story friends and family this unsung protagonist who had the courage to disobey unjust laws as gets the credit she deserves.
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