Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin

Twice Toward Justice

Book - 2009
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Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.
Publisher: New York : Melanie Kroupa Books, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374313227
Branch Call Number: YS B COL
Characteristics: 133 p. : ill. ; 24 x 22 cm


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amyraeweaver Apr 27, 2019

Just about everyone in America has heard the story of Rosa Parks, who refused to move to the back of a Montgomery city bus and was arrested for it. Far fewer people have heard of Claudette Colvin, a high-school girl who made the same brave stand—nine months earlier. Drawing from personal interviews with Colvin and others who were there, Phillip Hoose tells the moving story of a hero other history books didn’t honor, despite the strength and courage she showed in the face of injustice. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is a must-read for anyone interested in the civil rights movement, women’s history, and the ways history is constructed by its tellers.

IndyPL_SteveB Dec 07, 2018

Indiana native Phillip Hoose won a well-deserved National Book Award for Children’s Literature for this biography of Claudette Colvin. Colvin was a 15-year-old high school student who took the same action that Rosa Parks did -- refusing to give up her seat on the bus -- but *9 months earlier* in 1955 – and on her own, without the backing of the NAACP’s attorneys, without any planning at all. She was just standing up for her rights, as she had learned them in school. Colvin was arrested and charged with violating the city’s segregation laws. She lost her case, but her story did not end.

Rosa Parks’s action started the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which has been credited with ending segregated buses in Montgomery. But in reality, Hoose points out, the boycott went on unsuccessfully for nearly a year. The segregation was ended instead by a famous Federal Court case: *Browder vs. Gayle*, where Colvin was the most important witness.

While Rosa Parks and others became famous, Claudette Colvin did not. She moved to New York City and was largely forgotten until this biography. The book is based on interviews with Colvin (and a lot of other research) and is especially good at revealing the constant prejudice and daily personal threats against young black people in the 1950’s.

In 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, black teenager Claudette refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white woman. Nine months later, Rosa Parks did the same thing, sparking off the Montgomery bus boycott and changing the face of the South. Why do we all know Rosa Parks, but not Claudette Colvin?


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