82-Year-Old Woman Gets Record Expunged, Just in Time for Christmas
Rosa Parks is often credited as the "first lady of the Civil Rights movement" or the "mother of the Freedom Movement" for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. She is recognized in the history books and by the United States Congress for kicking off the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Nine months before Rosa Parks set history in motion, another African American woman did the exact same thing and her record was just expunged this year. The history books missed Claudette Colvin, but not for long.
82-year-old Claudette Colvin was just 15-years-old when she refused to give up her seat to a white woman on Montgomery, Alabama bus. Colvin was removed from the bus and arrested for disturbing the peace, violating the segregation law and assaulting a police officer.
After appealing the charges to the Montgomery Circuit City Court, the disturbing the peace and violating segreation laws were dropped, but the assaulting a police officer charge stood and that juvenile charge remained until this year.
That's right - at 82-years-old, she finally has a clean record from 1955.
The judge expunged her record without Colvin being present, so she was surprised to meet him and see that he was African American. Such a sweet, emotional moment for someone who waited 66 years to be cleared of something that you were convicted of when you were a teenager. Especially, something that changed history and turned it on its head.
Throughout the interview, Claudette adamantly said she wasn't a hero of the Civil Rights movement. She says she is a survivor.
One significant moment in this interview, for me, was when Miss Colvin told the people asking her to move, "I cannot move, because history has me glued to this seat."
The bravery shown by Claudette, when she quite frankly didn't know what would happen to her following her refusal to move from that bus seat, is courage that I can't imagine having within me. I am inspired by her, at 82-years-old, to still stand tall and unafraid in the fight for what is right.
I'm hoping more history books will speak on Miss Claudette Colvin. I had no clue about her before watching this piece. I hope that changes, because there's always more to history than what we are told and there's still history makers fighting injustice years after they were wronged.
Their stories need to be told, just like Claudette's.