Claudette Colvin Day
Come and meet a Living Legend
On March 2, 1955, the Civil Rights Movement was accelerated through the singular act of a courageous 15-year old girl. Claudette Colvin was the first person to stand up for her Constitutional Rights and not give up her seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This happened 9 months before Rosa Parks!
It was Claudette Colvin’s actions that changed the status quo, that woke up the NAACP in Alabama, and that kickstarted the timeline that followed. Ms. Colvin is historically credited with “accelerating the change in the plight of colored people” and it was her lawsuit, Browder v. Gayle, that went up to the Supreme Court and changed the law. To be clear, “accelerating the change…” means that Claudette Colvin LITERALLY saved lives.
In 1957, unable to get a job and branded a troublemaker, Claudette Colvin moved to the Bronx where she still lives today. In 2009, she retired from her career as a nurse’s aide and is in declining health.
Assemblyman Jose Rivera has sponsored and is one of many strong supporters of a bill to henceforth make March 2nd Claudette Colvin Day in the State of New York. The NYS Senate and Assembly have voted to approve this measure and all that remains is the Governor’s signature.
Given her undeniably important role in securing social justice for millions of black Americans and in recognition of her courageous stand in the face of abject prejudice, we strongly encourage you to attend this year’s Claudette Colvin Day ceremony during which a new humanitarian initiative will be dedicated for her day. We also encourage you to bring your teenage children to learn about Claudette Colvin's daring stand as a 15 years old.
It is important to recognize important and courageous historical figures during their lifetimes. The actions of Ms. Colvin are gaining fresh relevance as they are now tied to a peace education initiative in the African Union which has the potential to affect one-third of the population of the world.
The event will be held at 11am-2:00pm on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at St Helena’s Church in Parkchester, Bronx, NY. It will be the 64th Anniversary of her historic and life-saving actions.
Thank you for your consideration in personally attending this event.
Edna Thomas Granger
Executive Director, New York Peace Coalition