Amazing Kids! Magazine

Claudette Colvin: An Amazing Kid from History

By Jordan Brunk, Amazing Kid from History Editor and Contributing Writer


Claudette Colvin is an amazing kid from history. She was born on September 5, 1939 in Montgomery, Alabama. At this time segregation was a major issue in the United States and African Americans were discriminated against by Caucasians. One day when Claudette was riding a city bus home from her school, she was commanded by the bus driver to get up and let a Caucasian person take her seat. Knowing her rights as an American citizen, Claudette told the bus driver she wouldn’t give up her seat. Since she had paid for her ride, she didn’t have to if she didn’t want to. Through this decision (which some would see as an act of defiance), Claudette showed us that rights as American citizens should be equal for everyone and that discrimination is wrong.

After Claudette refused to give up her bus seat to a Caucasian person, she was arrested and put into jail, just at fifteen years old. She stayed in jail for many hours until her minister came to get her. He brought her back home where she stayed with her family for the entire night. Later, Claudette went to court against the segregation rules. She believed her city was wrong and since all people were created equal as quoted from the Declaration of Independence, their rights should be equal as well, no matter what their race is.

Even though the court voted against her case about the segregation laws, Claudette still believed that the laws were wrong. Because of her opposition to the segregation laws, many people later wouldn’t hire her to work and she also had to stop going to college. However, in 1956, Claudette became a part of another case about segregation and discrimination. After all was said and done, the court ruled that the bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. After everything she’d been through, Claudette’s hard work finally paid off. She proved to herself and others that all people are the same no matter what color of skin they have.

We can learn many things from Claudette. She shows us that everyone has the same constitutional rights even if they are different races. She teaches us to stand up for the things we believe in and know are right. With her strong will, she shows us that nothing could bring her down from what she knew her rights were as an American citizen. She knew that the bus segregation laws were wrong and unconstitutional and decided to do something about it. She teaches us to be brave and stand our ground when hard things come our way, such as segregation and racism. She inspires us to make a difference in the world by making wrong things right.

Even though Claudette suffered consequences for her actions, she still continued to stay strong and believe what she thought was right. She persevered until her case won in court and set the stage for a new way of living in Montgomery, Alabama. She still continues to inspire us today with her brave actions. In this way, Claudette truly is an amazing kid from history.