We all know Rosa Parks, but she wasn't the first to refuse to give up her seat on the bus. Democracy Now interviews Claudette Colvin, who was just 15 when she was arrested for doing the same. [Democracy Now, NewBlackMan (in Exile)]
While studying the Civil Rights Movement during college, somewhere along the way I heard about a young woman who, as one prof put it, "sat before Rosa Parks sat." However, this nameless woman was ultimately deemed "unfit" to serve as the test case to trigger the Montgomery boycott, which would precipitate the Movement. Why was she considered unfit? Well, as the story went, the young woman (actually a 15-year-old girl) became pregnant by an older, married man, and so the more reputable Rosa Parks took center stage. Read on to find out more about Claudette Colvin's "forgotten contribution."