An Alabama judge has expunged the juvenile court records of Claudette Colvin, an African American woman who was just 15 years old when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white woman. On March 2, 1955, Colvin boarded a Montgomery city bus after school to head home. As it filled up, a white woman was left standing, and the bus driver ordered Colvin to get up and move to the back. She refused and was dragged off the bus in handcuffs. In 2013, Claudette Colvin recalled that day in an interview with Democracy Now!
Claudette Colvin: “It felt like Sojourner Truth’s hands were pushing me down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman’s hands were pushing me down on another shoulder, and I could not move. And I yelled out, “It’s my constitutional rights!’”
Her act of civil disobedience came nine months before Rosa Parks’s arrest in a similar protest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, a landmark event in the civil rights movement.