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Claudette Colvin, The Girl That Came Before Rosa Parks, Files To Get Her Record Cleared From 1955

Image of 15 year old Claudette Colvin next to news paper article about her

At the young age of 15, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Months later, Parks did the same thing and became synonymous with the civil rights struggle.

On March 2, 1955 Colvin was riding a Montgomery city bus home from school. That day the bus driver told Colvin and her friends to give their seats to white female passengers. Colvin refused. 

She was dragged off the bus by police officers and arrested on several charges. She was convicted on two counts of violating Montgomery’s segregation laws and one count of assaulting an officer.


Colvin’s case went to trial in May of 1955. The judge dropped the two segregation charges, but found her guilty of assaulting the officer who arrested her. She was convicted of assaulting a police officer and placed on probation.  

Up until today, she has not received notice that her probation term has ended. As reported by the Associated Press, Colvin, who is now 82, is asking the Montgomery Court to expunge her record. 

In a sworn statement, Colvin says: “I am an old woman now “Having my records expunged will mean something to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. And it will mean something for other Black children.”

Check out: The Untold Story of Lucille Times, Organizer of the 1st Montgomery Bus Boycott


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