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Claudette Colvin
Claudette Colvin.jpg
Colvin in 1954
Born September 5, 1939 (1939-09-05) (age 82)
Occupation Civil rights activist, nurse aide
Years active 1969–2004 (as nurse aide)

Claudette Colvin was born on September 5, 1939 in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up in Montgomery, Alabama.

Colvin was arrested on March 2, 1955 for not giving up her seat to a white woman. She was 15 years old when this happened. Colvin was put on trial on several charges including violating the segregation ordinance. The court found her guilty. She was beaten up and ridiculed by white people after the incident. Colvin was placed on probation. Reverend Johnson bailed her out and when she got back home, everyone was so proud of her.

In 1956, about one year after Colvin refused to give up her seat, her lawyer, Fred Gray, filed the landmark federal lawsuit: Browder v Gayle. This case stopped segregation on public transportation in Montgomery Alabama.

Claudette’s incident was before Rosa Parks even though she isn’t acknowledged much. Around this time, Colvin was getting involved in the Youth Council of Montgomery of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).Even though she got a light sentence from the court, she was branded a troublemaker.

She dropped out of college and could not find a job. Colvin moved to New York City in 1958. There she worked as a nurse assistant in a nursing home while living there.

Colvin retired in 2004.

Although she is relatively unknown, Colvin played an important part in the Civil rights movement.

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