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Black History: Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin

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A teenage Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger during the segregation era in Montgomery, Ala. COURTESY OF CLAUDETTE COLVIN
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(WEAA) — On March 2, 1955, Claudette Colvin became the first Black female to refuse to give up her seat to a white woman.

 

Colvin, 15, was riding home from school on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama when the driver instructed her to give up her seat.

 

According to Biography.com, she refused, saying, "It's my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it's my constitutional right."

 

She was arrested on several charges, including violating the city's segregation laws.

 

This occurred nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand that launched the Montgomery bus boycott. 

 

ALSO READ | Before Rosa Parks, A Teenager Defied Segregation On An Alabama Bus