Sowing Seeds

Cultivators of beauty, brilliance and power

  • 7th January
    2013
  • 07
DAY #1: BEFORE ROSA PARKS THERE WAS 15 YEAR OLD CLAUDETTE COLVIN
Born: September 5, 1939Trait to Admire: BOLDNESS
BIO & LEGACYAt 15 years old, this Alabama native was the first person to resist bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, preceding the Rosa Parks incident by nine months. The teenager was arrested. In actuality, the Supreme Court case stemming from her refusal to give up her seat on the bus actually ended bus segregation in Alabama.
Growing up in one of Montgomery’s poorer neighborhoods, Colvin studied hard at school. She earned mostly A’s in her classes and even aspired to become president one day. On March 2, 1955, Colvin was riding home from home on a city bus when a bus driver told her to give up her seat to a white passenger. She refused, saying “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right.” Colvin felt compelled to stand her ground. "I felt like Sojourner Truth was pushing down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman was pushing down on the other—saying, ‘Sit down girl!’ I was glued to my seat," she later told Newsweek.
Colvin’s pioneering effort was not publicized or legally represented by Montgomery’s Black leadership or the NAACP because she was an unmarried pregnant teen. Leaders were concerned that her reputation would scar the movement and interfere with bringing a winnable case before the court.
In court, Colvin opposed the segregation law by declaring herself not guilty. The court, however, ruled against her, and put her on probation. Despite the light sentence, Colvin could not escape the court of public opinion. The once-quiet student was branded a troublemaker by some, and eventually she had to drop out of college due to harassment. Public opinion, harassment and her arrest record made it difficult for her to find a job. Eventually, Colvin moved to the Bronx where she resides today.
To learn more about Claudette, read this article.
RITUAL OF REMEMBRANCE:
1. Listen to Claudette Colvin in her own words. Claudette’s BOLDNESS is only possible because of education she received from the adults in her community. Let us inspire BOLDNESS in all youth.
2. Think of someone in your circle who exemplifies or inspires BOLDNESS. Share Claudette’s story with them via a phone call, email, FB post or whatever method you choose.
3. Identify three areas of your life where you exemplify BOLDNESS. Acknowledge yourself and your journey.

DAY #1: BEFORE ROSA PARKS THERE WAS 15 YEAR OLD CLAUDETTE COLVIN

Born: September 5, 1939
Trait to Admire: BOLDNESS

BIO & LEGACY
At 15 years old, this Alabama native was the first person to resist bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, preceding the Rosa Parks incident by nine months. The teenager was arrested. In actuality, the Supreme Court case stemming from her refusal to give up her seat on the bus actually ended bus segregation in Alabama.

Growing up in one of Montgomery’s poorer neighborhoods, Colvin studied hard at school. She earned mostly A’s in her classes and even aspired to become president one day. On March 2, 1955, Colvin was riding home from home on a city bus when a bus driver told her to give up her seat to a white passenger. She refused, saying “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right.” Colvin felt compelled to stand her ground. "I felt like Sojourner Truth was pushing down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman was pushing down on the other—saying, ‘Sit down girl!’ I was glued to my seat," she later told Newsweek.

Colvin’s pioneering effort was not publicized or legally represented by Montgomery’s Black leadership or the NAACP because she was an unmarried pregnant teen. Leaders were concerned that her reputation would scar the movement and interfere with bringing a winnable case before the court.

In court, Colvin opposed the segregation law by declaring herself not guilty. The court, however, ruled against her, and put her on probation. Despite the light sentence, Colvin could not escape the court of public opinion. The once-quiet student was branded a troublemaker by some, and eventually she had to drop out of college due to harassment. Public opinion, harassment and her arrest record made it difficult for her to find a job. Eventually, Colvin moved to the Bronx where she resides today.

To learn more about Claudette, read this article.

RITUAL OF REMEMBRANCE:

1. Listen to Claudette Colvin in her own words. Claudette’s BOLDNESS is only possible because of education she received from the adults in her community. Let us inspire BOLDNESS in all youth.

2. Think of someone in your circle who exemplifies or inspires BOLDNESS. Share Claudette’s story with them via a phone call, email, FB post or whatever method you choose.

3. Identify three areas of your life where you exemplify BOLDNESS. Acknowledge yourself and your journey.

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