Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

by Phillip Hoose

Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery,... read more

Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, another Black Montgomery citizen had done the same. Claudette Colvin was only fifteen at the time she refused to follow Jim Crow practices any longer and was arrested. In the aftermath, Claudette often felt isolated and alone, even vilified by some within her own community. Fourteen months later, Rosa Parks had been arrested and the Black community united in boycotting public transportation, but it was in the courts that a victory was needed, and Claudette courageously became one of five plaintiffs in a class action suit. That suit, Browder v. Gayle, put an end to segregated transportation in Montgomery when a federal court ruled it unconstitutional. Claudette’s passion and her dreams of making a difference will resonate with contemporary readers, as will her sense of hurt and injustice. Phillip Hoose’s narrative, which was drawn in large part from interviews with Colvin and others as well as additional research, paints a fresh, insightful picture of those life-changing times in Montgomery, looking at them through the experiences of a teenager who faced challenges for being both young and Black. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

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