Saturday, May 25, 2013

The First Rosa Parks

I have long been interested in what gets people to make historic steps knowing that history has not judged them and lots of people might be against them.  For example Mary Beth Tinker only wore her armband for a few hours and no one has reported that after coming back to school she (and the others punished) wore black clothing for the rest of the year to get around the armband "rule."

But one story I have told for years, but had no name until Tinker mentioned it, was the one of the "first Rosa Parks."  Her name is Claudette Colvin and she was only 16 (Parts was in her 40s) when she was arrested for the same "infraction" as Parks.  Her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court (Browder v Gayle), but the Montgomery NAACP did not push her case forward since she became pregnant soon after being arrested and the group did not want her adolescent pregnancy to be the issue.  The video above is excellent, both with the interview but also revealing that Parks was the THIRD African-American person to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat.

Here is a NYTimes story on the case and above is an interview with Colvin above.  In 2010 Phillip Hoose won the National Book Award for youth literature for his book on her

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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