Claudette Colvin

African-American activist in the civil rights movement

Claudette Colvin (born September 5, 1939) is a pioneer of the civil rights movement. On the day of March 2, 1955, she was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, preceding the more publicized Rosa Parks incident by nine months, although not as well known.

Claudette Colvin


  • It's my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it's my constitutional right.
    • Claudette Colvin at, accessed 2 Nov 2013; Colvin said as she was getting arrested by the two police officers on the bus.
  • I knew then and I know now that, 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.'
  • 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.

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