In The Shadow Of Rosa Parks: "Unsung Hero" Of Civil Rights Movement Speaks Out

E.D. Nixon, then a leader of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, had been waiting for a test case to challenge bus segregation and vowed to help Colvin after her father posted bail. But then came the second-guessing: Colvin‘s father mowed lawns; her mother was a maid. Churchgoing people, but they lived in King Hill, the poorest section of Montgomery. The police, who took her to the city hall and then jail, also accused the teenager of spewing curse words, which Colvin denied, saying that in fact the obscenities were leveled at her (“The intimidation, the ridicule,” she often says now).

Some blacks believed she was too young, and too dark-skinned to be an effective symbol of injustice for the rest of the nation. Then, as local civil rights leaders continued to debate whether her case was worth contesting, that summer came the news that Colvin was pregnant by a married man.

E.D. Nixon would later explain in an oral history, “I had to be sure that I had somebody I could win with.” Rosa Parks, for a decade the NAACP secretary who took special interest in Colvin‘s case, was “morally clean, reliable, nobody had nothing on her.” —Vanessa de la TorreIn The Shadow Of Rosa Parks: ?Unsung Hero? Of Civil Rights Movement Speaks Out (The Cardinal Inquirer)

Fascinating study of Claudette Colvin, a black teenager who refused to give up her seat on a bus, nine months before Rosa Parks followed her example.