Claudette Colvin: The Unsung Hero

Claudette Colvin: The Unsung Hero

The Girl Who Should Have Taken The Civil Rights Movement By Storm
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With Black History Month in full swing and Rosa Park's birthday just behind us, it dawned on me to educate those who aren't aware of the girl who first refused to move her seat. With prejudice and injustice still prevalent and the #BlackLivesMatter movement becoming more powerful than ever (looking at you, Beyonce!), some of the original Civil Rights Movement heroes are worth learning more about. Most of us know the story of Rosa Parks, but few know the story of Claudette Colvin.

Hero, who?

Montgomery, Alabama was the first U.S. city to have a fully segregated transportation system, as of 1906. Claudette was poor but worked her butt off in school getting mostly As. She even dreamt of someday becoming the president.

In 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin thought this law, and other laws supporting segregation, were totally violating her constitutional rights. On March 2nd that same year, Claudette took the bus home with three kids from school. There were not yet any white people on the bus, so the middle section was free for Claudette to sit down. The rules stated that the front 10 seats of the bus were reserved for white passengers, and after they were filled, black passengers had to give up their middle and/or rear seat to a white person.

When a white woman stepped on the bus on that ever so important March afternoon, Claudette refused to move her seat. She was escorted off the bus by the authorities a few blocks following and was arrested. She was charged with disorderly conduct, violating the segregation law, and with assaulting the policemen who had dragged her off the bus.


If it weren't for her age, the NAACP may have reconsidered not challenging the segregation laws that made her case in the first place. It also didn't help that Claudette became pregnant in the few months after her arrest.

She was branded as a trouble-maker. The little-known reputation she had was destroyed. She dropped out of college and had extreme difficulty finding work.

It sounds like Claudette was doomed to live in the shadows forever and never help end segregation, right?

WRONG.

Claudette became one of four plaintiffs in the Browder vs. Gayle case. If that doesn't already sound familiar, the 1956 case went to the Supreme Court and deemed that Montgomery's segregation laws were unconstitutional.

Hero, why?

You may be confused as to why Rosa Parks became the face of the Civil Rights Movement, even though her actions took place 9 months later.

Claudette's "troublemaking" reputation, deep complexion, and nappy hair, wasn't widely accepted by the vast majority, not even her own community. Unfortunately, 15 year old activists are sometimes labeled as plain rebellious, especially when they become teen moms in such a conservative time period. Her acts were seen as a scandal, rather than a courageous stride.

Rosa Parks was educated, light-skinned, older, and seen as a wiser member of the community. She was well respected, unlike Claudette Colvin. MLK even endorsed Rosa Parks as a figurehead of the Civil Rights Movement.

Without Colvin’s bravery, Parks may not have had the means, preparation, or knowledge to prevail. I'm not saying that Rosa Parks isn't hella important. I'm just saying Claudette Colvin is HELLA important, too! You go, girl.

Sources:

http://ezproxy.limcollege.edu:2287/ehost/detail/de...

http://www.biography.com/people/claudette-colvin-1...

http://search.proquest.com/docview/851725292?accou...

http://find.galegroup.com/gic/infomark.do?&source=...

http://time.com/3603948/jesse-jackson-rosa-parks/

Cover Image Credit: AllDay.com

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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For Those Of You Boycotting Nike, Here Are 10 Times You Need To Just Stop It

There's no need to burn your gear.

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As everyone knows, Nike created an ad that included Colin Kaepernick and the white supremacists went wild. They began burning their Nike gear, and no longer want to support the brand.

1. Why? 

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There are two reasons why I think you are boycotting Nike and that is because either you are assuming the race of Colin Kaepernick or you are mad because he kneeled during the National Anthem. Either way, you have the right to boycott whatever you want. Boycotting is a great way to protest. However, you're going about it all wrong

2. Why are you mad? 

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If you're assuming this man's ethnicity, you are assuming. Check your facts, Kaepernick is American. If you are mad because he kneeled during the National Anthem, I do not understand why that is even an issue. Just like you are protesting Nike, the NFL players were protesting police brutality. So, really, your thinking is on the same level. People who protest want something to be corrected. What exactly do you want to be corrected?

3. Nike knew what they were doing

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Of course Nike knows what they're doing! Nike has been successful for years and they aren't going to stop because they aren't going to conform to whatever the majority wants, especially if they don't stand for it. Nike is a business, they have marketing strategies, and believe it or not, they are most likely going to blow up. If not, they'll do just fine. Nike employees many athletes and owns multiple other companies. The reality of it is, if you don't like what Nike stands for, they don't want your business and they don't care if you're gone.

4. Let’s be honest

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The majority of people burning or mutilating their Nike gear are people who splurge on such items when they've saved up enough money to buy something nice. You tore up one pair of socks? You burned one pair of shoes? Honestly, it's your own money wasted.

5. You look like a buffoon

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Seriously, the internet is making fun of you. You are burning your own clothes. Sure, be mad at the brand, boycott it if you must. But, really, Nike already has your money. It is a business, not a person, they don't care whether you burn their clothing articles because you already bought it. What are you going to do? Buy more socks to cut or keep buying the same socks you normally wear? I think the joke is on you. You have fewer clothes and less money.

6. It’s an article of clothing

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You're not bothering Nike but Nike is bothering you. Some people would be thrilled just to have a cool shirt or nice pair of shoes and would gladly take that swoosh off your hands. But you're too busy caught up in your own fury to even think of the people less fortunate than you, right? Clothes that are in good shape are taken so much for granted. Typically when people are done with their clothes they donate them to Goodwill…

7. Or the army

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnX27tmD2by/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Which seems to be one of the topics that some are so angry about. You talk about respecting the troops but don't think to donate an article of clothing that someone would not only be excited to have, but possibly need. Instead, you destroy it and hope someone's feelings get hurt. Keep in mind, businesses don't have feelings, people do.

8. If someone who cannot afford clothing saw you destroying it

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They would be distraught. Some people rely on thrift shops or donations just to live in habitable conditions. No one cares who you boycott or for what, but destroying a good pair of shoes, socks or even clothes for the sake of protesting is kind of dumb. Just donate whatever it is and don't buy from the company.

9. It’s not hard to be a good person and protest

Seriously, just donate your clothes. Figure out exactly what it is that you're mad about and decide whether it's worth the trouble. Making it public that you're angry about a small thing results in more people making fun of you and supporting where you lack; it doesn't matter whether you're buying from the company or not.

10. There’s a reason why people are making fun of you for burning your clothes

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnX27tmD2by/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

It's because everyone else sees that this issue should not be an issue. People have their clothes and wear them, whether the brand is getting a bad rap or not. You're mad at Nike for creating a commercial with someone they have been sponsoring for years who kneeled during the national Anthem to protest the victims of police brutality. It was a one time thing, and like you, they were protesting.

11. If you can be mad at that, you can be mad at things that matter

If you can spend all this energy on one small thing, you can protest things that actually matter, police brutality, for example. It's okay not to like something, but this isn't an issue. Michigan still doesn't have clean water, many people need affordable healthcare, there are people who live on the streets and need food, and global warming is a serious problem. There are way bigger issues than someone kneeling during the National Anthem. So, how will you help the world?

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