Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
Months before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat, a young teenager named Claudette Colvin did the very same thing—but her story is not well-known or celebrated. On March 2, 1955, Colvin, fed up with a system that placed daily injustices in her path, fought to keep her seat. However, young and pregnant Colvin was shunned and overlooked. Her story didn't end there. One year later, she served as a key plaintiff in Browder vs. Gayle and helped to strike down segregation laws. Combining interviews with Colvin herself and detailed historical research, Hoose gives Colvin much-deserved credit for her important role in shaping history. This award-winning middle grade book is not just for young readers. It's an excellent account of Colvin's story and the Civil Rights Movement.
“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin
On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.
Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.