However, some white passengers still refused to sit near a black person.
Rosa parks’ early life
Like Colvin, Parks was commuting home and was seated in the "coloured section" of the bus. Colvin monttomery her very well. On 2 MarchColvin and her friends finished their classes and were let out of school early. But Colvin told the driver she had paid her fare and that it was her constitutional right to remain where she was.
When the white seats were filled, the driver, J Fred Black, asked Parks and three others to give up their seats. About sharing image copyrightAlamy In Maeriednine months before Rosa Parks defied segregation laws by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, year-old Claudette Colvin did exactly the same thing.
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I lokoing know how I got off that bus but the other students said they manhandled me off the bus and put me in the squad car. Like Colvin, Parks refused, and was arrested and fined.
Colvin and her friends were sitting in a row a little more than half way down the bus - two were on the right side of the bus and two on the left - and a white passenger was standing in the aisle between them. Another factor was that before long Colvin became pregnant. I didn't want to discuss it with them," she says.
The bus driver had the authority to as the seats, so when looiing white passengers got on the bus, he asked for the seats. Inthe writer Phillip Hoose published a book that told her story in detail for the first time. Eclipsed by Parks, her act of defiance was largely ignored for many years.
The legal case turned on the testimony of four plaintiffs, one of whom was Claudette Colvin. A year later, on madried Decemberthe US Supreme Court ruled that segregation on the buses must end. The churches, buses and schools were all segregated and you couldn't even go into the same restaurants," Claudette Colvin says.
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I felt inspired by these women because my teacher taught us about them in so much detail," she says. To sustain strap on mistress boycott, communities organised carpools and the Montgomery's African-American taxi drivers charged only 10 cents - the same price as bus fare - for fellow African Americans.
Members of the community acted as lookouts, while Colvin's father sat up all night with a shotgun, in case the Ku Klux Klan turned up.
I can still vividly hear the click of those keys. The organisation didn't want a teenager in the role, she says.
Most of the people didn't have problems with us sitting on the bus, most New Yorkers cared about economic problems. My mother knew I was disappointed with the system and all the injustice we were receiving and she said to me: 'Well, Claudette, you finally did it. Soon afterwards, on 5 December, 40, African-American bus passengers boycotted the wommen and that afternoon, black leaders met to form the Montgomery Improvement Association MIAelecting a young pastor, Martin Luther King Jr, as their president.
But what I do remember is when they asked me to stick my arms out the window and that's when they handcuffed me," Colvin says. On the night of Parks' arrest, the Women's Political Council WPCa group of black women working for civil rights, began circulating flyers calling for a boycott of the bus system. Three of the students had got up reluctantly and I remained sitting next to the window," she says.
Two policemen boarded the bus and asked Colvin why she wouldn't give up her seat.
Related Topics. The driver wanted all of them to move to the back and stand so that the white passenger could sit.
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Today their boycott, modelled on the one in Montgomery, is largely forgotten - but it was a milestone in achieving equality. Find out more You can listen again here Colvin was the first person to be arrested for challenging Montgomery's bus segregation policies, so her story made a few local papers - but nine months later, the same act of defiance montgomeery Rosa Parks was reported all over the world.
She fkr didn't talk about it much, but she spoke recently to the BBC. Instead of being taken to a juvenile detention centre, Colvin was taken to an adult jail and put in a small cell with nothing in it but a broken sink and a cot dothan escort a mattress.